Emily Dickinson

Author: Emily Dickinson

Profile: Emily Dickinson was an American poet and in American poetry she is considered to be one of the most important figures. She was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, United States and died there without ever moving out. The List of Emily Dickinson poems are her most notable works. She was born in a notable family having strong ties to its community. She studied for seven years at the Amherst Academy and attended the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary for a brief period after which she returned to Amherst to her family home. Emily lived a major part of her life in isolation, as indicated by evidences. She was reluctant in meeting guests, would not leave her bedroom and developed a liking to wear white clothing and hence considered to be an eccentric by people in the locality. She corresponded with friends, never met them and never married.

Around 11 of her poems were obliterated and dedicated to Susan Huntington Gilbert Dickinson, her sister-in-law. Her works and life have inspired many artists especially the feminist oriented of a range of mediums. One potent influence in her life was William Shakespeare.

Writing style: Poems written by Emily Dickinson were unique to the era and generally edited to fit conventional rules of poetry. Her poems lack titles typically, contain unconventional punctuation, capitalization, short lines and slant rhyme. Themes dealt by her in her poems include immorality, death, exploring spirituality, nature, society and aesthetics and two recurring topics in letters she sent to her friends.

Published Texts:

During her lifetime only one letter and ten poems of her prolific writing were published. Later when her collection of around 1800 poems was discovered by Lavinia her younger sister, they were published four years after her death.

1955 – Complete Poems of Dickinson were published by Thomas H. Johnson

Poems from the manuscript versions were extensively altered and edited

From 1890 Emily Dickinson has continued to remain in print

Awards and Acknowledgements:

Emily Dickinson’s poetry was considered to be essentially modern, broader in scope, by some critics by the start of the 20th century

In an essay in 1915, Emily’s inspiration has been termed as daring and as one of the rarest flowers the sterner New England land ever bore, by Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant

In the 1920s Emily’s poems gained popularity and her poetic form was no longer considered distasteful to readers of the new generation

Within no time critics referred to Emily as a great woman poet and gradually a cult following started to form