Biography Born Dec. 10, 1830 in Amherst, MA Born to a posperous family; father was a lawyer Attended Amherst Academy
Biography, Cont’d… Close friends with Thomas W. Higginson, who eventually published her poems. She was frequently ill as a child. She began writing as a teenager.
Biography, Cont’d… Her poetry became an outlet for her when she lost close friends and family. She became a recluse and shied away from society. Died May 15, 1886
Poetry Themes of love, death and nature Mysterious verse –Punctuation was unconventional –Dashes –Highly personal
Legacy Only seven of her poems were published during her lifetime (anonymously). Of her poems, over 1,700 survived. It wasn’t until 1955 that her entire works were published.
Interpretation of The Works Did you know?… -Dickinson had a profound obsession with the book of Revelations in the Bible. -Dickinson Lived a good part of her life in physical isolation after experiencing immense homesickness when going away to school at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary for only one year in South Hadley. -Dickinson had a fascination with death and had a way of almost glamorizing it. In this excerpt from her poem entitled “I Dwell In Possibility” she sounds as if death is not troubling for her in the least “Because I could not stop for Death-He kindly stopped for me- ”(p1056 Dickinson) -Dickinson had a way of taking ordinary instances in nature such as a bird eating a worm and turning them into fascinating works of literature that keeps the reader reading, and then re-reading to see if anything can be interpreted out of the work. “A Bird Came down the walk- He did not know I saw- He bit the Angleworm in halves”(1052 Dickinson)
Dickinson & Nature Dickinson had a profound love for nature that was often conveyed through her poems. Dickinson appreciated the simple, yet important species in nature such as the birds and the bees, and often wrote about them in her poems. “ A bird came down the walk- He did not know I saw”(Dickinson) “At Half Past Three, a single Bird Unto a silent Sky”(Dickinson) Dickinson had a way of personifying nature so as though she was speaking of a good friend “Light laughs the breeze”(Dickinson) “When it comes, Landscape listens- Shadows-hold their breath- ”(Dickinson)
My Interpretation I think that Emily Dickinson was one of those people who were so smart it makes them socially awkward along with being extremely shy. I think that Emily Dickinson found most people other than her family distracting. From reading many of Dickinson's poems, specifically “An Altered Look About The Hills”, “There's A Certain Slant of Light”, “Tell All The Truth But Tell It Slant”, and “Summer Shower” the reader quickly catches on that Dickinson is a true observer of nature. After hearing of Dickinson’s self imposed isolation her poems become more clear, many of the poems clearly sound like the thoughts of someone observing nature through their window.
The Era of Emily Dickinson 1830-1886 Savanna Reeves
Heritage English Lineage Great Puritan Migration (1620-1640) Ancestors left to pursue religious freedom Emily a second generation “American.”
The Victorian Era 1837-1901 Characteristics: High morals, modesty, social decorum civic conscience/social responsibility Age of Industrialization Age of Exploration: -Settlement of the West
The Victorian Era pertaining to Literature Demographics -Audience is predominantly middle class -(Europe) The New Aristocracy -(America) Men and Women of the middle class Themes -rural life, nature, changing roles of women
Women in Society Expectations: Virtuous and dutiful disposition Domestic duties Upper Class -Educated, well rounded, and cultured.
Works Cited: http://www.erasofelegance.com/history/victorian.html http://fineartamerica.com/images-medium/boulder-victorian-jerry-mcelroy.jpg http://images.oldhouseweb.com/stories/bitmaps/15027/victorian_exterior_photo.jpg http://ezinearticles.com/?Life-of-Women-in-the-Victorian-Era&id=2359711
Works Cited Dickinson, Emily. “Poem 712.” The Norton Anthology of World Literature: 1800-1900. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 2002.1049 - 1056. “Timeline of Emily Dickinson.” Famous People Biography Guide. 3 Nov 2009.