Emily Dickinson


Emily Dickinson is one of the premier poets of the 19th century, from America. She was born in Amherst, Massachusetts on December 10, 1830. On May 15, 1886, at the age of 56 she died in Amherst Massachusetts, United States. She had been a part of a prominent family that had strong ties to its community. During her major part of life she lived in as a recluse.

As a teenager, she left school and lived on the family homestead in a reclusive lifestyle. There, she wrote hundreds of letters and bundles of poems secretly. Her remarkable work was discovered by Lavina her sister and after Emily’s death, she published all works. In American literature, Emily is termed as one of the best towering figures.

Her father, Samuel Dickinson who served as state legislator and worked at Amherst College is known well as founder of Amherst College. In 1828 he married Emily Norcross from whom they had three children, William Austin, Emily and Lavina Norcross. Emily attended Amherst College for 7 years and for 1 year attended Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. Reasons are unknown for why in 1848 she departed the academy however it seems that one of the reasons was her fragile emotional state. Also her father took a decision to withdraw her from school. Emily steadfastly went against religious norms those days and never joined any denomination or church.

Emily was highly influenced by Benjamin Franklin Newton a family friend who sent a poetry book by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Besides this, the Amherst Academy, Principal, Leonard Humphrey, a minister from Pennsylvania, Charles Wadsworth were also her early influences.

Emily and Lavina, both unmarried, looked after their ailing mother at a property near their large home homestead, till in 1882, when their mother passed away. Speculation is that Emily, during her later years, with anxiety, depression, agoraphobia, and also a painful eye ailment didn’t leave the confines of her home. She is believed to have friendship or a romantic relationship with Judge Otis Phillips Lord till his death in 1884. While doing her writing work, Emily also produced a vast herbarium and studied botany. She died of kidney disease at the age of 55. Emily an indelible American character influenced the direction of poetry of the 20th century, profoundly with her compressed and poignant verses. She is posthumously well known for the way she used syntax and form, in the most innovative manner.

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