Emily Dickinson - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Course Date Emily Dickinson: The Romantic Movement in American literature extended from about 1830 – 1860. It was a deliberate departure from the preceding ‘Age of Reason,’ which emphasized reason, objectivity, tradition, and social conformity…
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Download file to see previous pages The emphasis is on spontaneity, and the original. (Harvey, 1997). Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886), is one of most prolific and successful poets of the American Romantic Movement. Her work challenges the existing norms of that period, rejects convention, and establishes a new genre. The unique “order, unusual punctuation and spelling choices” of her poems reflect the new spirit of Romanticism (Poetry Foundation, 2012). The poetry of Emily Dickinson may be taken to be the epitome of American Romantic literature, with its focus on nature, individualism, and the exploration of faith. Dickinson’s nature poems make up a large part of her work. They deal with almost all aspects of nature: birds, animals, bees, flowers, grass, rain, forests, hills, the seasons, sunrise and sunset. Her poems throb with her love for Nature. It is evident that she finds great joy in her closeness with the natural world. The depth of her observation is incredible. The least minutiae of life is seen and explored by Dickinson and linked with her personal emotions. She simply thrills in nature’s beauty. At other times, she makes a connection between nature and human life. In her poem, “It Sifts From Leaden Sieves,” (Poets.org. 311), Dickinson is content to describe Nature’s beauty. She makes effective use of metaphor: the “leaden sieves” refer to overcast skies. ...
The poet goes on to express her desire to be a part of nature, by offering the bird a crumb. But the bird is frightened of her advance, and flies away. Here, Dickinson shows that man cannot be a part of nature, unlike the bird, which unites with nature. The poet’s evident love for nature is one of the hallmarks of American Romantic literature. Another feature which marks Dickinson as a Romantic is her unbending individualism. Contrary to the social expectations regarding women of that period, Dickinson disliked housework and the “daily rounds of receiving and paying visits” (Poetry Foundation, 2012). In line with this pronounced individualism, Dickinson withdrew from public life. This is seen in the fact that, “By the 1860s, Dickinson lived in almost total physical isolation from the outside world” (Poets org. 2012). Her poems were largely a part of her private correspondence with friends, and were published only after her death. Most of her poems demonstrate her own personal emotions. She sees the world around her through a personal lens. Dickinson’s poem, “I’m Nobody! Who Are You?” (Poets org. 260), demonstrates her alienation from society. She criticizes the people who belong to the pretentious public world, and is happy to be apart from them, in her own private identity. Dickinson holds the Romantic opinon, contrary to common thinking, that man’s closeness to nature is hindered by the effects of civilization. This is seen in her poem, “I Like to See it Lap the Miles,” (Poets org. 43), where she compares the train to a horse. She is critical of the industrial invasion of the natural world by the railroad. Dickinson’s subjective perception of the world is very much a feature of Romantic literature. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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