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- THE UNCLE OF AN ANGEL | THOMAS A. JANVIER
Bright Angel Point today remains the center of development on the North Rim.
It offers clear views of the Grand Canyon, as well as a fault that allows for easier descent below the rim. Photo: NPS. In the NPS constructed a ranger cabin, warehouse, barn, machine shed, duplex cottages and other outbuildings at the point, further cementing its position at the heart of development at the North Rim. They also added a developed campground for visitors in , though the next year this was moved to its present position to make way for the Grand Canyon Lodge , the main lodging and dining facility on the North Rim.
In the National Park Service began offering nature guide services at Bright Angel Point to explain the natural history of the Canyon and surrounding area to these visitors.
The Uncle Of An Angel by Thomas A. Janvier
In , the NPS reacted to growing tourist numbers at the North Rim by expanding its presence there, constructing employee quarters, a bunkhouse, mess hall, and other buildings. Throughout the decade of the s, Civilian Conservation Corps crews worked throughout the Canyon on a variety of projects. At Bright Angel Point, they extended sewer, water, steam, and electrical lines to all public buildings and added sites, utility lines, parking spaces, and walkways to the campground.
After the war, despite increases in tourism, the North Rim still never reached the number of visitors of the South Rim. Because of its isolation, short tourist season due to the cold and snowy winter months, and limited space for construction at Bright Angel Point, the Union Pacific Railroad was hesitant to invest significant capital in the area.
Because the North Rim is a thousand feet higher in elevation than the South Rim, it has colder temperatures and more snow, which made investors less willing to develop facilities there due to the shortened tourist season. Looking through a snowy frame at Bright Angel Point, Brahma and Zoroaster Temples are visible in the inner gorge, while above the south rim the San Francisco Peaks can be seen in the distance. Photo: NAU. Josef Muench Collection. Cline Library, Northern Arizona University. The trail to Bright Angel Point gives visitors a chance to learn about the importance of climate, elevation, and ancient life at the Grand Canyon.
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In the annual visitation at Bright Angel Point reached approximately ,, but the reluctance of the concessionaire to invest money and NPS concerns about overdeveloping the area meant that plans to significantly expand facilities there never materialized. Instead, in the concessionaire, Utah Parks Company, turned their facilities at the North Rim over to the government. The facilities continued to pass through different owners, and today are run by Forever Resorts. Water and power for these facilities reaches Bright Angel Point by defying nature. Water from Roaring Springs which provides all the water for both the North and South Rims within the Canyon is pumped up nearly 4, vertical feet to a 50, gallon water tank at the rim.
A hydroelectric plant along Bright Angel Creek uses turbines to generate energy that is sent to the pump house, where it is enhanced and transmitted to the rim to serve NPS and concessionaire power needs. Deva, Brahma, and Zoroaster Temples are visible to the southeast. To the west is The Transept, a large tributary canyon of the Grand Canyon. We play at paste Till qualified for pearl; Then drop the paste And deem ourself a fool. The shapes, though, were similar And our new hands Learned gem-tactics, Practicing sands. Then came one which I have always classed among the most exquisite of her productions, with a singular felicity of phrase and an aerial lift that bears the ear upward with the bee it traces: —.
The nearest dream recedes unrealized.
The impression of a wholly new and original poetic genius was as distinct on my mind at the first reading of these four poems as it is now, after thirty years of further knowledge; and with it came the problem never yet solved, what place ought to be assigned in literature to what is so remarkable, yet so elusive of criticism.
The bee himself did not evade the schoolboy more than she evaded me; and even at this day I still stand somewhat bewildered, like the boy. Circumstances, however, soon brought me in contact with an uncle of Emily Dickinson, a gentleman not now living; a prominent citizen of Worcester, a man of integrity and character, who shared her abruptness and impulsiveness but certainly not her poetic temperament, from which he was indeed singularly remote. He could tell but little of her, she being evidently an enigma to him, as to me.
It is hard to tell what answer was made by me, under these circumstances, to this letter. It is probable that the adviser sought to gain time a little and find out with what strange creature he was dealing. Her second letter received April 26, , was as follows: —. With this letter came some more verses, still in the same birdlike script, as for instance the following: —.
Here was already manifest that defiance of form, never through carelessness, and never precisely from whim, which so marked her. The other poem further showed, what had already been visible, a rare and delicate sympathy with the life of nature: —. A bird came down the walk; He did not know I saw; He bit an angle-worm in halves And ate the fellow raw.
And then he drank a dew From a convenient grass, And then hopped sidewise to a wall, To let a beetle pass. He glanced with rapid eyes That hurried all around; They looked like frightened beads, I thought; He stirred his velvet head. Like one in danger; cautious. I offered him a crumb, And he unrolled his feathers And rowed him softer home. Than oars divide the ocean, Too silver for a seam— Or butterflies, off banks of noon, Leap, plashless as they swim.
It is possible that in a second letter I gave more of distinct praise or encouragement, for her third is in a different mood. This was received June 8, As if I asked a common alms, And in my wondering hand A stranger pressed a kingdom, And I, bewildered, stand; As if I asked the Orient Had it for me a morn, And it should lift its purple dikes And shatter me with dawn!
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I must soon have written to ask her for her picture, that I might form some impression of my enigmatical correspondent. To this came the following reply, in July, —. This was accompanied by this strong poem, with its breathless conclusion. The title is of my own giving: —. It would seem that at first I tried a little, — a very little — to lead her in the direction of rules and traditions; but I fear it was only perfunctory, and that she interested me more in her—so to speak—unregenerate condition.
Still, she recognizes the endeavor.
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In this case, as will be seen, I called her attention to the fact that while she took pains to correct the spelling of a word, she was utterly careless of greater irregularities. It will be seen by her answer that with her usual naive adroitness she turns my point: —. A month or two after this I entered the volunteer army of the civil war, and must have written to her during the winter of from South Carolina or Florida, for the following reached me in camp: —.
With this letter came verses, most refreshing in that clime of jasmines and mocking-birds, on the familiar robin: —.
THE UNCLE OF AN ANGEL | THOMAS A. JANVIER
The robin is the one That interrupts the morn With hurried, few, express reports When March is scarcely on. The robin is the one That overflows the noon With her cherubic quantity, An April but begun. The robin is the one That, speechless from her nest, Submits that home and certainty And sanctity are best. In the summer of I was wounded, and in hospital for a time, during which came this letter in pencil, written from what was practically a hospital for her, though only for weak eyes: —. These were my earliest letters from Emily Dickinson, in their order. Sometimes there would be a long pause, on my part, after which would come a plaintive letter, always terse, like this: —.
Or sometimes there would arrive an exquisite little detached strain, every word a picture, like this: —. A route of evanescence With a revolving wheel; A resonance of emerald; A rush of cochineal. Nothing in literature, I am sure, so condenses into a few words that gorgeous atom of life and fire of which she here attempts the description. It is, however, needless to conceal that many of her brilliant fragments were less satisfying.
She almost always grasped whatever she sought, but with some fracture of grammar and dictionary on the way. Sometimes, on the other hand, her verses found too much favor for her comfort, and she was urged to publish. In such cases I was sometimes put forward as a defense; and the following letter was the fruit of some such occasion: —. In all this time—nearly eight years—we had never met, but she had sent invitations like the following: —.
Except the smaller size No lives are round. These hurry to a sphere And show and end. The larger slower grow And later hang; The summers of Hesperides Are long. At last, after many postponements, on August 16, , I found myself face to face with my hitherto unseen correspondent. She had a quaint and nun-like look, as if she might be a German canoness of some religious order, whose prescribed garb was white pique, with a blue net worsted shawl. There was not a trace of affectation in all this; she seemed to speak absolutely for her own relief, and wholly without watching its effect on her hearer.
Yet she had never heard him speak a harsh word, and it needed only a glance at his photograph to see how truly the Puritan tradition was preserved in him.