Famous Dickinson phrases include “It is better to be the hammer than the anvil” and “Hope is the thing with feathers / That perches in the soul / And sings the tune--without the words / And never stops at all”… The Belle of Amherst, a play about Dickinson, debuted on Broadway in 1976. The play was written by William Luce; the title came from a phrase Dickinson once used to describe herself. The Broadway production was directed by Charles Nelson Reilly and won a Tony Award for actress Julie Harris, who played Dickinson.
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