Critics have long disagreed on the literary and historical significance of Emily Brown’s earliest known works, although it is interesting to note that of the many volumes of stories, diaries and poems attributed to her, only a very small number of these were written when the author was past the age of ten.
The reason for Brown’s mysterious and abrupt cessation in producing work has long been a subject of debate, and was the inspiration behind several fascinating dissertations by a number of established literary theorists. These include Theodore Klemp’s widely published essay “Emily Brown: Putting down the Pen after Puberty”, as well as Dr. Marvin Meddlestein’s critically acclaimed thesis, “The Fifth Grade: Did it Crush Her Creative Spirit?”
Two of Brown’s latest known works, written in the twilight of the spring before her tenth birthday and discovered by her mother while she was sifting through the back of Brown’s closet to locate the Easter decorations, seemed to support Meddlestein’s theory. One of these was an unfinished essay, written for school and never handed in, entitled “Why a No-TV Rule is a Bad Idea”. The second work, a poem entitled, “The Backyard is Totally Big Enough for Me to Have a Pony”, shows us the inner workings of a mind tormented by the restrictions enforced upon its owner’s vibrant imagination.
“The Morris twins each have their own ponies/ It is not fair/ That I can’t even have one pony” Brown writes. “The backyard is totally big enough/ For a little tiny pony to run around in/ Why do we have a big stupid dog/ And not a cute pony/ They eat sugar cubes.” (Brown, Collected Poems Vol. II, 1997)