Presentation on theme: "Emily Dickinson The Belle of Amherst. This is my letter to the world, That never wrote to me,-- The simple news that Nature told, With tender majesty."— Presentation transcript:
This is my letter to the world, That never wrote to me,-- The simple news that Nature told, With tender majesty. Her message is committed To hands I cannot see; For love of her, sweet countrymen, Judge tenderly of me!
Biography Born December 10, 1830 in Amherst, MA. Educated at Amherst Academy. At 17, began college at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary; she became ill the spring of her first year and did not return. She would leave home only for short trips for the remainder of her life, leading scholars to speculate she may have been agoraphobic.
Dickinson in Love? The Master Letters –Unknown man Samuel Bowles –Dickinson’s editor Susan Gilbert –Dickinson’s sister-in- law
Was She Weird? Known for being a recluse, she didn’t leave her family’s homestead for any reason after the late 1860’s. She almost always wore white. She often lowered snacks and treats in baskets to neighborhood children from her window, careful never to let them see her face.
Dickinson’s Poetry Regular meter—hymn meter and ballad meter, also known as Common meter –Quatrains –Alternating tetrameter and trimeter –Often 1 st and 3 rd lines rhyme, 2 nd and 4 th lines rhyme in iambic pentameter The use of dashes Influenced by nature and spiritual themes
Dickinson’s Publishing Career Sent poems to Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a literary critic and family friend. He recognized her talent, but tried to “improve” them, which made Dickinson lose interest. At the time of her death, only seven of her poems had been published.
Posthumous Publication After her death, her poems were heavily edited and published by Higginson and friend Mabel Loomis Todd. Thomas Johnson produced a collection of Dickinson’s more than 1700 poems in three volumes in 1955; he restored her original capitalization and punctuation.
What’s the Difference? BECAUSE I could not stop for Death, He kindly stopped for me; The carriage held but just ourselves And Immortality. We slowly drove, he knew no haste, And I had put away My labor, and my leisure too, For his civility. We passed the school where children played, Their lessons scarcely done; We passed the fields of gazing grain, We passed the setting sun. Because I could not stop for Death, He kindly stopped for me; The carriage held but just ourselves And Immortality. We slowly drove, he knew no haste, And I had put away My labor, and my leisure too, For his civility. We passed the school, where children strove At recess, in the ring; We passed the fields of gazing grain, We passed the setting sun. An excerpt of poem 712, or “Because I could not stop for Death, called “The Chariot” by Higginson and Todd. On the left is the edited version; on the right, the original. Note the major changes in lines 9 and 10.
Dickinson’s Legacy Dickinson died May 15, 1886 of nephritis (kidney disease). Dickinson is considered influential to poets such as Adrienne Rich, Richard Wilbur, Archibald MacLeish, and William Stafford. Along with Walt Whitman, Dickinson is one of the two giants of American poetry of the 19 th century.