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"Ample access" here means, most likely, only ability to purchase, unless dear old dad kept stacks of unused bond paper or the like at home. ED was a bit of a recluse, though, and her preferred form of 'access' seems to have been to use whatever was at hand (and didn't require her to venture out).
If she was so interested in experimenting with poetry, how come all of Emily Dickinson's extant works can be sung to the theme song from Gilligan's Island?
Poet myself - it's not unusual to do the first draft on the back of an envelope. You are not usually at your desk when the idea strikes you.
She was highly productive in the early 1860s--during the Civil War which may explain why death is so much on her mind, aside from the fact that people dropped like flies in those days... DyingI heard a fly buzz when I died; The stillness round my formWas like the stillness in the air Between the heaves of storm.The eyes beside had wrung them dry, And breaths were gathering sureFor that last onset, when the king Be witnessed in his power.I willed my keepsakes, signed away What portion of me ICould make assignable,-and then There interposed a fly,With blue, uncertain, stumbling buzz, Between the light and me;And then the windows failed, and then I could not see to see.
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