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Essay on the Poetry and Life of Emily Dickinson

The Poetry and Life of Emily Dickinson

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born on December 10, 1830. She was from a small town in Amherst, Massachusetts. One hundred and seventy-one years later people enjoy reading Emilyâs poetry. There is intrigue behind both her poetry and her life. Emily Dickinson remains a popular poet; her poetry has stood the test of time. Dickinson shunned public attention and during her life, she refused to have her poetry published. Between five and twelve pieces of her poetry were actually published (numbers vary according to different sources). She was known as the “Myth of Amherst” because so little was known about her life. Some of the pleasures Dickinsonâs poetry elicits are joy, serenity and hope, to name only a few. To this day readers also enjoy the myths and legends that surround the life of Emily Dickinson. This paper will attempt to classify the kinds of pleasure found in reading both her poetry and the stories behind her life

Many emotions are stirred in the reader of Dickinsonâs poetry. One kind of pleasure that might be experienced while reading her poetry is joy. While reading poem number 326:

“I cannot dance upon my Toes-

No Man instructed me-

But of ten times, among my mind,

A Glee possesseth me·”

the reader experiences the joy that the writer expresses in her desire to dance. In Dickinsonâs poem number 322:

“There came a Day at Summerâs full,

Entirely for me-

I thought that such were for the Saints,

Where Resurrections ö be ö

The Sun, as common, went abroad,

The flowers, accustomed, blew,

As if no soul the solstice passed

That maketh all things new·”

there is a joy in knowing that beautiful days and flowers can sometim…

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Both Emilyâs life and her poetry supplicate many pleasurable emotions for the reader such as joy, serenity, and hope. The intrigue and unanswered questions surrounding Dickinsonâs life keeps the reader piqued and eager to seek the answer to the riddle of Emilyâs intimate side, while also allowing the reader the satisfaction they experience through the readings.

Works Cited and Consulted

Dickenson, Donna. Emily Dickinson. New Hampshire: Berg Publishers Ltd. 1985.

Ferlazzo, Paul J. Emily Dickinson. Boston: Twayne Publishers. 1976.

Johnson, Thomas H. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. Boston. Little, Brown And Company. 1960.

Thayer, Bonita E. Emily Dickinson: An Impact Biography. New York: Watts, Franklin. 1989.

The Greenhaven Press Literary Companion To American Authors. Readings On Emily Dickinson. CA: Greenhaven Press. 1997.

The Like Minds of Emerson and Douglass

The Like Minds of Emerson and Douglass

Few, if any, writers of the American Renaissance period had as great an influence on contemporaries as did Ralph Waldo Emerson. He was insistent that America put its mark on the literary world with its own, genuine American literature, and he launched the movement with his own works (Bode 574). Frederick Douglass was a slave of the American south when Emerson was starting out and moving up in his profession. Eventually, Douglass became Emersonâs fellow writer and lecturer. Douglass was present and was asked to speak for the Womenâs Anti-Slavery Society in August 1844, in Concord, where Emerson was the keynote speaker. The two men shared common ideas, as we shall see as the literary works and lives of the two men are examined. To some extent Emerson had an influence on Douglassâs expressed views, but on the other hand, some of Douglassâs views were a product of his own natural inclination.

Emerson believed that the human spirit could be relied on to lift man up to overcome any tribulation that might be encountered (Bode 574). Douglass inadvertantly proved Emerson right when he lifted himself out of the dehumanizing bondage of slavery through his sheer will of human spirit. Douglass went on to become a hero of the slave movement after he gained his freedom.

Emerson “believed in a reality and a knowledge that transcended the everyday reality·” He also felt strongly that individuals should trust fully in the integrity of self (Bode 573). There is a correspondence between this “self-made” man of Emersonâs and Frederick Douglass. During the course of Douglassâs career, his actions and words epitomized Emersonian ideas.

The issue of abolishment of slavery d…

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…ce, exemplary character, and social inspiration” (Martin 263).

Works Cited

Belasco, Susan. Harriet Martineauâs Black Hero and the American Antislavery Movement. Nineteenth-Century Literature, Vol II. University of California Press, 2000. 1-23.

Bode, Carl. Emerson. McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of World Biography Vol III. New York: McGraw-Hill Inc., 1973. 572-574.

Frederick Douglass 1818-1895. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Paul Lauter. Boston: Houghton, 1998. 1578-1690.

Martin, Waldo E., Jr. The Mind of Frederick Douglass. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1985.

Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803-1882. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Paul Lauter. Boston: Houghton, 1998. 1578-1690.

Rowe, John Carlos. At Emersonâs Tomb: The Politics of Classic American Literature. New York: Columbia UP, 1997.

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