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Forever - Is Composed Of Nows is the seventh episode of the second season of Dickinson. It is the seventeenth episode of the series overall.


Thinking she's blown her shot at publication, Emily spirals into depression. Her mother attempts to help her with a trip to the water cure.


It’s been weeks since she went to the opera, and Emily has given up all hope of being published by Bowles. “I hate my life and I want to die,” she says. “That’s exactly why we need a spa day,” her mother responds.

Aunt Lavinia takes the female members of her family to the spa. There are mudbaths, massages, and cold water baths. Emily sees this day as her chance to talk to Sue. When she gets her moment, Emily frets about having ruined her chance at being published. Worse, she no longer has any motivation to write.

Lavinia attempts to make conversation, and Emily reveals that her internal torment is over a boy. Lavinia is initially shocked, thinking her sister “over” things like boys, but she’s more helpful than Sue and gives Emily an ego boost by telling her sister that she’s her hero.

Austin meets with Jane at the Homestead, as he is drafting her will. Jane asks Austin to be her executor and to take her son, BIlly, in the event of her death; he accepts and asks her to approve it before he drafts the will. While Jane looks over the will, Austin holds baby Billy, showing his paternal instincts. After he returns the baby to Jane, they embrace and share a brief kiss, however Jane breaks away and reminds Austin that they both “made their choices”.

Henry is tending to Jane’s horse when his wife, Betty, arrives. She expresses her fear at how widely known his newspaper is becoming.

Unexpectedly, Emily then runs into George. “I’m getting my shvitz in”, he says, before elaborating on his trip out west, which wasn’t as glamorous as he anticipated. Still, he keeps his head up and talks about life being a “journey,” before reminiscing about Emily’s poetry. “Thank you for believing with me,” she says, remembering a man in her life who had his flaws but was supportive of her poetry and didn’t play games with her.

Emily’s mother convinces her to partake in an activity called “cocoon rebirth”. The strange nature of this treatment allows the two to break down the walls between them.“I hate this place,” Emily's mom says and they share a moment of laughter. Emily uses the moment as an opportunity to confide in her mother about the control she feels Bowles has over her, and Emily Norcross is nothing but supportive. “Someone worthy of you shouldn’t make you feel sick,” she says and talks about how Edward makes her feel. “You don’t deserve to be unwell,” she says. “Nothing about this place has made me except for what you just said,” Emily says, finally feeling relieved, and no longer feels the urge to publish. Bowles’s power over her has waned.

That is until Emily returns home. Sam has apparently made it his mission to become involved in Emily’s life, having convinced Edward to invest in his newspaper. She confesses to having made peace with not being published, and Bowles tells Emily her poem will be on the front page of the paper. Emily thanks him for being published. She asks Sam to excuse her for a moment as she returns to her room to gather her poems. She returns to the foyer and gives all of her poems to Sam.







  • The episode's title and themes are based on "Split the Lark — and you'll find the Music —" Poem #861 by Emily Dickinson[2]

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