Emily Dickinson - Assignment Example

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Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), acknowledged as one of the greatest American poets, is a poet open to any number of interpretations. The large volume of her poems, over 1700, gives enough scope for critics to interpret her, the way they find suitable. There are critics who try to interpret her poems through her life…
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Download file to see previous pages “The categories then are, in Anderson’s summery, “art, nature, the self, death and its sequel”. He then observes that these categories are in no sense hard and fast, or mutually exclusive.” (Emily Dickinson Handbook, PP 186). Anderson’s reading tries to summarize Emily Dickinson’s poems; but admits that the thematic structure of her poems is too complex to be summarized that easily. The eccentric recluse: Emily Dickinson was what we might call an eccentric who wished to remain a child for ever. Her letters repeatedly express this wish. She was a recluse who wore only white dress through out her entire adult life. Though she talks of her love, both in her poetry and in her letters, she remained unmarried and it is not clear whether these lovers were real or imaginary. She grew lonelier after the age of thirty and never left her house. She almost lived closed door in her room with a window that opened out to the nature. “I am no body! Who are you? / Are you nobody too? / Then there’s a pair of us! –don’t tell! / They’d banish us you know. ...
She refused to leave her room even when she was dying. She very rarely met a special visitor. She depended on her sister Lavinia for her food and other needs; she loved the children of her brother. It is said that she used to lower sweets and baked goods through a pulley outside her window for the children of her home and the neighborhood. She lived alone and wrote poems, without the burden of the usual mediocre woman duties. Even her sister Lavinia came to know of the over 1700 poems of her sister after her death only. But she was in touch with the outside world through her correspondence, the most important of which were her letters to Thomas Wentworth Higginson, the American author and Unitarian minister. On April 16, 1862 Higginson received a letter from a 32 year old woman from Amherst, Massachusetts, which included four poems of hers. They were marked “not for publication”! The letter started like this “Mr. Higginson, are you too deeply occupied to say if my verse is alive? .The mind is so near itself it cannot see distinctly, and I have none to ask”. (Atlantic Monthly, October 1891, PP 444) The words poetically echoes the soul of a lonely being, with nothing else than poetry to hold close to her heart. In 1891 Higginson wrote in an article about this early correspondence. “ The impression of a wholly new and original poetic genius” he said , “ was as distinct on my mind at the first reading of these four poems , as it is now after thirty years of further knowledge ; and with it came the problem never yet solved , what place ought to be assigned in literature , to what is so remarkable , yet so elusive of criticism” ( Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, PP6). Higginson became her mentor and encouraged ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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