Overview Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts to a wealthy and prominent family She died of Bright’s Disease at the age of 56. Bright’s causes the victim to look fleshy and bloodless and is related to kidney failure.
School Life Emily’s first schooling was at Amherst Academy where she attended from the ages of 10 to 17 years old. After graduating from Amherst, she attended Mt. Holyoke Seminary, but left after seven months, complaining of homesickness and “ never fitting in.”
Social Life In her teenage years, Emily was known as the “Belle of Amherst” and had many friends. Many speculate that the reason for her reclusive ness in later life stemmed from the deaths of many of her closest friends.
Emily Shuts Down Emily Dickinson first went into reclusive ness in 1853 and was known as the “Woman in White” to the children of Amherst, because whenever she appeared she was always dressed in white. At times she would sit by her window watching the graveyard behind her home and handing down sweets to the children. When this occurred, she was always careful to never let her face show.
Poetry Unmasked!! When Emily Dickinson died on December 16, 1886, she had not been outside in 33 years and her only human contact had been with her sister Lavinia. While searching through one of her sister’s drawers, Lavinia found an amazing collection of letters and around 1800 poems that Emily had hidden from her. Needless to say, if Lavinia had not discovered these poems, Emily would be a virtually unknown poet, instead of the legend that she is today.
Come Slowly, Eden! Come, Slowly, Eden! lips unused to thee, Bashful, sip thy jasmines, As the fainting bee, Reaching late his flower, Round her chamber hums, Counts his nectars– enters, And is lost in balms!
I Went To Heaven I went to Heaven,- ‘Twas a small town, Lit with a ruby. Lathed with down. Stiller than the fields At the full dew, Beautiful as pictures No man drew. People like the moth, Of mechlin, frames, Duties of gossamer, And eider names. Almost contented I could be ‘Mong such unique Society.
I’m Nobody! Who are You? I’m nobody! Who are you? Are you nobody, too? Then there’s a pair of us –don’t tell! They’d banish us, you know. How dreary to be somebody! How public, like a frog To tell your name the livelong day To an admiring bog!
I Felt a Funeral In My Brain I felt a funeral in my brain, And mourners, to and fro, Kept treading, treading, till it seemed That sense was breaking through. And when they all were seated, A service like a drum Kept beating, beating, till I thought My mind was going numb.
I Felt a Funeral In My Brain continued And then I heard them lift a box, And creak across my soul With those same boots of lead, again. Then space began to toll As all the heavens were a bell, And Being but an ear. And I and silence some strange race, Wrecked, solitary, here.
Bipolar Disorder? Many scientists have recently come up with the idea that Emily Dickinson might have had Bipolar Disorder. This disease causes the person to have personality changes and morbid thoughts, like the ones Emily showed in her poems.
Romance? Emily has been linked to two men romantically, the Reverand Charles Wadsworth, with whom she corresponded and Samuel Bowles, editor of the Springfield Republican Other sources have said that Dickinson had a crush on her sister in law, Susan Gilbert, who was scorned when Austin had an affair with a family friend’s wife.
Fun Facts! Emily Dickinson has two schools named after her; one in Redmond, Washington and one in Bozeman, Montana. Her grandfather founded Amherst College Even though, Dickinson saw no one but her sister for more than 30 years, she still wrote letters, hundreds in fact!
The End of Emily Dickinson Emily Dickinson died on December 16, 1886 leaving a legacy of poems and many questions as to her life and psychological problems.