She was born into an upper-class Calvinist family, which meant that she never had to work Baym Dickinson lived with her parents for her whole life and did not leave the house much, leading to tales of her being a recluse.
However, she did have a few friends and possibly some love interests, which may have inspired some of her love poems Baym Unlike Whitman, Dickinson did not seek fame during her life. In fact, very few of her poems were published until after her death. She was very well read; in fact, influences from Charles Dickens, the Bronte sisters, Elizabeth Browning, and even the Bible can be seen in her works Baym The poems she wrote indicate that she was fascinated with the concepts of death, love, and religion.
She explores these through the use of figurative language, such as the personification in poem Rather than throwing away all poetic structure, she added her own stylistic touch — most notably, dashes and capitalization.
Dickinson wrote in a very strict fourteener meter that is commonly seen in nursery rhymes and church hymns. However, within these poems, she covers serious topics and often surprises the reader with her treatment of a topic or the conclusion she draws from it.
For example, in her poem , she basically puts down those who go to church and says that she is better off talking directly to God in her own home Dickinson This would have been a fairly scandalous idea for the devoutly religious, even though the poem is presented in a simple, almost sing-song fashion that is enhanced by her ABCB rhyme scheme, which is consistent throughout all of her works. Both poets will be remembered as innovators who changed the landscape of American poetry by thinking outside of the box.
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Thanks for sharing this essay on here. Now I can see the difference between those 3 poets. Chef-de-jour , thank you for reading and for the comment! These two authors are among the first that come to mind when I think of poetry, and I think it's incredible how their incredibly different styles can speak to people all the same. Good luck with Leaves of Grass!
Thank you for this insightful essay comparing Whitman and Dickinson. Both are fascinating pioneers of poetic language and form no doubt, the former all title and glory, the latter untitled and secretive? I'm slowly working my way through Leaves of Grass, a monumemtal effort.
I admire Whitman's unorthodox language and subject matter - from compost to universal love - his very American ego - and his compassionate feel for life. Dickinson too is special. I can just see her composing inwardly in her quiet room, daring to pen such deep emotive words.
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This is feature allows you to search the site. Some articles have Google Maps embedded in them. Although only seven of Dickinson's poems were published during her lifetime—all anonymously and some apparently without her consent—Dickinson is considered a premier American poet. Choosing the lyric as her form, Dickinson wrote on a variety of subjects, including nature, love, death, and immortality. As she honed the lyric format, Dickinson developed a unique style, characterized by compressed expression, the use of enjambment, and an exploration of the possibilities of language.
In the publication of Thomas H. Johnson's edition of Dickinson's complete poems prompted renewed scholarly interest in her work. Modern criticism has focused on Dickinson's style, structure, use of language, and the various themes found in her poetry. Some critics have examined these same issues from a feminist viewpoint.
Regardless of the critical angle, most modern scholars incorporate some discussion of Dickinson's life experiences into their examinations of her work.
Critical and popular interest in Dickinson's life has been fueled by the mythology that has grown up around the limited factual knowledge available.
Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, in The daughter of a prosperous lawyer and an invalid mother, Dickinson's schoolwork was often interrupted by time spent at home learning domestic chores. Beginning in , she spent four years at a primary school and then attended Amherst Academy from to This, together with Dickinson's Unitarian upbringing, heavily influenced her poetry's structure—the lyric form she used was a revision of the hymn quatrain—as well as its content—religious themes are the focus of many of her poems.
Despite these influences on her work, though, personal faith eluded her and she remained an agnostic throughout her life. After her year at Mount Holyoke, Dickinson returned to her family's home where she remained almost exclusively for the rest of her life. From to ,. Biographers speculate that on one trip to Philadelphia, Dickinson fell in love with a married minister, the Reverend Charles Wadsworth, and that her disappointment from this affair triggered her subsequent withdrawal from society.
This, and other rumors of romantic entanglements, are largely conjecture; however, it is known that her reclusiveness intensified over the years.
Her personal habits—always wearing white, never leaving her home, refusing to receive visitors—earned her a reputation for eccentricity. In , Dickinson's father died unexpectedly, leaving her to care for her invalid mother, who died in Dickinson died in after being diagnosed with Bright's disease, a kidney disorder.
Over the course of her writing career, Dickinson composed nearly eighteen hundred poems, all in the form of brief lyrics. She explored a variety of subjects: Drawing heavily from biblical sources and influenced by such poets as George Herbert, Shakespeare, and John Keats, Dickinson developed a highly personal system of symbol and allusion, assigning complex meanings to colors, places, times, and seasons.
She experimented with compression, enjambment, and unusual rhyme schemes, and also employed an idiosyncratic use of capitalization and punctuation, thereby creating a poetic style that further distinguished her verse from contemporary American poetry. Initial criticism of Dickinson's work, following the publication of Poems of Emily Dickinson , was largely unfavorable, yet her work received widespread popular acclaim.
Willis Buckingham has noted that readers in the s often praised Dickinson's "inspired" thoughts and emotions rather than her poetic technique.
Modern critics, though, have come to appreciate Dickinson's accomplishments in language and poetic structure. Margaret Dickie has challenged critics who have attempted to provide a narrative analysis of Dickinson's work by studying her poetry as a whole.
Dickie maintains that the poems were written as lyrics, and should be examined as such. Karen Oakes has explored Dickinson's use of metonymy to establish an intimate, feminine discourse with her readers. Other critics, such as Judy Jo Small and Timothy Morris, have analyzed Dickinson's rhyme structure, Small noting the acoustical effects of this structure, and Morris observing how Dickinson's patterns of rhyme and enjambment developed over time. Many critics have also explored the various themes of Dickinson's poetry against the backdrop of events in her personal life.
Among these are Jane Donahue Eberwein, who has studied the poems concerning love and its redemption, and Nadean Bishop, who has focused on Dickinson's spirituality, specifically the poems that seem to indicate the poet's rejection of religious dogma in favor of a private version of God and heaven.
Paula Hendrickson, who has examined Dickinson's poems that focus on the precise moment of death, notes that these poems are typically treated as a subcategory of the death poem genre and are rarely treated individually.
Power is another of Dickinson's themes that has received a great deal of critical attention. McClure Smith has examined how Dickinson uses the trope of seduction to explore her relationship to patriarchal power.
Feminist critics have also found the issue of power of great significance in Dickinson's work. Cheryl Walker maintains that while many feminist critics try to assert that Dickinson's life was "a model of successful feminist manipulation of circumstances," in fact, the poet was attracted to masculine forms of power.
Paula Bennett, on the other hand, has contended that Dickinson's relationships with women were more significant than her struggles with men, male power, or male tradition.
Bennett argues that Dickinson's relationship with women provided her with the comfort and safety necessary for the poet to explore her own sexuality.
This contention, Bennett states, is supported by a reading of Dickinson's poems that recognizes their homoeroticism and use of clitoral imagery. The enigmatic details surrounding Dickinson's life continue to fascinate readers and critics alike.
Yet it is the technical originality of her poetry, the variety of themes she addressed, and the range and depth of intellectual and emotional experience she explored that have established Dickinson's esteemed reputation as an American poet. A Poet Restored," in Emily Dickinson: Sewell, Prentice Hall, , pp. Johnson's edition of Dickinson's verse, as well as the characteristics and major themes of her poetry.
[In the following essay, originally part of a doctoral dissertation, Higgins studies Dickinson's letters, observing that in both prose and poetry Dickinson reduced thoughts and ideas to their essences, Higgins discusses the method by which Dickinson composed her letters and her habit of combining poetry with her prose.
Emily Dickinson’s writing reflects the Realistic period through personal themes: death, isolation, God, marriage, women in society, and love. Dickinson’s writing is affected by numerous factors. Among these are her family, the Realism period, and her .
Like most writers, Emily Dickinson wrote about what she knew and about what intrigued her. A keen observer, she used images from nature, religion, law, music, commerce, medicine, fashion, and domestic activities to probe universal themes: the wonders of nature, the identity of the self, death and immortality, and love. Emily Dickinson's Poetry About Death "Emily Dickinson's Poems about death grew out of her reactions to the tragic events in her personal life." In three of her poems, her style of writing reflects her way of life.
Was the Relationship Between Emily Dickinson and Benjamin Franklin Newton Productive for Emily’s Writing? The Journey of Emily Dickinson Writing Her Manuscript and Poems from to The Springfield Republican Publication of Emily Dickinson’s Work. Emily Dickinson is one of the most interesting female poets of the nineteenth century. Every author has unique characteristics about him/her that make one poet different from another, but what cause Emily Dickinson to be so unique are not only the words she writes, but how she writes them. Her style.