Sue: You’re right.
Emily: Right about what?
Sue: The only time I feel things is when I’m with you.
Emily: She dealt her pretty words like Blades. How glittering they shone.
Sue: I pushed you toward him because I wanted to escape what I was feeling, and I slept with him ‘cause I didn’t wanna feel it. There is so much that I don’t want to feel, Emily. And the biggest thing that I don’t want to feel…
Emily: Is what? Hmm, is what? What is it, Sue? Just say it.
Sue: Is that I’m in love with you.
Emily: I don’t believe you.
Sue: It’s true.
Emily: It’s not true. Nothing you say to me is true. You’re not even Sue anymore. You’re a new person, a fake person. I don’t even recognize you, and everything you say to me is a lie.
Sue: Emily, I love.
Emily: Stop lying to me.
Sue: I love you, and I felt you in the library because you’re always with me. I can’t escape from you because the only true thing I will ever feel is my love for you.
Sue: I could die happy right now.
Emily: Not me. I feel sorry for the dead today.
Sue: When I’m with you, that is the only time I feel alive.
Emily: That’s all I need. That’s all I’ve ever needed: to make you feel that way. I write for you, my Sue. I write for you. For you alone. That’s enough.
Sue: I will never let go of you again.
Emily: Mr. Bowles, I have decided with much agonizing and struggle that I do not in fact wish to be published. Therefore, I request that… No, no, I demand that you give me back my poems.
Sam: Emily, your poem was a hit. You’re about to become world famous overnight. People love the one we published, and they’re already begging for more.
Emily: That’s a lie. Some people didn’t love it. I heard them.
Sam: No, it’s not. It’s better than that. It got under their skin. It made them think. It made them ask questions. It was provocative. It got reactions, which is all you can ever hope for as a writer. Emily, I’m telling you, you’re on your way to becoming the biggest poet in New England, possibly America, and I’m trying to help you stop getting in your own way.
Emily: The only thing getting in my way right now is you.
Sam: Ouch, that hurts.
Emily: Give me back my poems.
Sam: My newspaper empire, it is expanding, and you can be a part of that. Don’t you wanna help build an empire?
Emily: I had an empire. It was right up here, and then you stole it from me. You and Sue.
Sue: I don’t give a shit about that man.
Emily: Then why did you sleep with him? And why, why did you keep telling me to give him my poems?
Sue: Because I couldn’t handle the things your poems made me feel. Your poems are too powerful. They’re like snakes. They slither into me, and they coil around my heart, and they squeeze me until I can’t breathe. They are flittering and venomous, and they bite. I got scared, Emily. Of you, of the way that you grip me, of the way that you poison me. When I married Austin, and we became sisters, the only bond between us was your words. You started writing so much, and I was the only one who ever saw any of it. I got overwhelmed, so I thought if I pushed you a little…
Emily: If you pushed me away, I’d become someone else’s problem? Well, guess what? I’m not your problem anymore, Sue. You can go back to your perfect parlor with your fancy dresses and be as exquisitely empty as you like, because I will never make you feel anything again. And without me…
Emily: Without me, I don’t think you know how to have feelings.
Lavinia: Ship, you go to New Orleans … marry someone else, have kids, all that shit, but you know and I know…
Lavinia: That I will always be the most interesting girl you’ve ever loved.
Mrs. Dickinson: All this talk of signs and visions, you sound as crazy as Emily.
Edward: Or maybe she’s not as crazy as we thought.
Ship: I’m glad we worked things out, baby.
Lavinia: Me too.
Ship: So now you can say good-bye to your whole family because we’re moving to New Orleans.
Lavinia: Wait, what?
Ship: We can talk about this later.
Sue: Where is Emily?
Austin: At home I imagine. She doesn’t usually come to church.
Sue: You know I still haven’t seen her since her poem was published. It’s like she’s hiding from me.
Austin: Yes, well, I’d leave her alone if I were you.
Sue: But I have things I need to say to her.
Austin: I imagine she knows them already.
Sam: Hmmm, so this is about Sue?
Emily: I don’t know what you mean by that?
Sam: You know about us, don’t you? I see what’s going on here. You found out about me and Sue, and now you’re jealous. You thought I was flirting with you or something, leading you on. Well, I wasn’t, OK? I was only ever interested in your work, which is what you should be focused on too. Don’t let your emotions get in the way of your career. That is always what happens to women.
Emily: I need my poems.
Sam: No, Emily, you need me. See, a lot of people wouldn’t have even bothered with you, but I have because I understand you. You’re weird, and you’re warped, and you’re sick, and you’re strange, but I understand that, as a woman, your art comes from all of that. Now, it would sadly be easy for the whole world to ignore you, but I won’t let them. No one would pay attention to you if it wasn’t for me pointing them in your direction. Trust me. You have no power without me. One day, you will look back at all of this, and you will thank me.
Emily: I’m gonna ask you one more time, give me back my poems.
Nobody: You know who I am, and you know how I’m going to die.
Emily: Yes, in the war.
Nobody: In the war, seeking glory, seeking fame. I’ll leave my home and my family and go into battle.
Emily: Yes, and then the bullet will hit you like a bird.
Nobody: So Frazar Stearns will die to be remembered. Might have been better to be Nobody.
Emily: I understand, and I will not make the same mistake.
Nobody: You have wars to fight, Emily Dickinson, but you must fight them in secret, alone, unseen. You must give all the glory to yourself and ask for nothing from the world. You must be a nobody. The bravest, most brilliant nobody who ever existed.
Lavinia: You spent all of your money on a shack in New Orleans, and now you just expect me to drop everything and come with you?
Ship: Well, yeah. It’s the 19th century. You’re my wife. I make the decisions.
Lavinia: OK, have you been listening to anything that I’ve been saying to you this whole time?
Ship: Babe, NOLA is so chill. You’re gonna love it.
Lavinia: There is a civil war stating. I am not moving to Louisiana. I’d never see my family again. Not to mention, I’d be on the wrong side of history.
Ship: Hey, the South’s not all bad. The planation system, it’s more like an aristocracy…
Lavinia: Slavery is bad, Ship.
Ship: I thought you were all about keeping an open mind.
Lavinia: Not in this case.
Ship: Come on. It’ll be charming. You’ll be a Southern belle.
Lavinia: I am a shrewd Yankee witch. Respect that.
Ship: I don’t get it. You want me to leave you here and move down to NOLA and marry some cotton king’s daughter?
Lavinia: No, you can marry me. We just have to stay in Amherst and keep things loose and nonexclusive.
Ship: Forget it, forget it man. I’m already way in over my head on this shack.
Austin: Dad was right. I’m a failure. I’m a total utter failure. I’m a joke.
Emily: No, that is not true.
Austin: Yes, it is, Emily. Yes. You don’t understand. Nothing I do works. Everything I touch breaks. I’ve been trying so hard to find meaning, to find something that will make Sue love me. But nothing I do will ever matter. I’m a joke, Emily. A fraud, with a hole inside that nothing can ever fill.