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Emily Dickison

Emily's Style

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Inside Emily's Poetry

Emilys poetry is unique because of its jaw dropping effects of compressing language. She eliminated inessential language and punctuation from her poetry because she wanted to get to the heart of things. The endings from verbs and nouns are dropped and she leaves out connecting words. Some critics think she was ahead of her time with the way she disregarded grammar, and thats why they think we find her so appealing in the 21st century. Some of the compression of her poetry is so much that it basically makes the poem incomprehensible and leaves the reader saying "what?", and thats what critics think the down side of her unique style of writing is. Emily uses the meters of English Hymns in her poems and some musicians have composed music to go with her style of poetry, and even one woman, Martha Graham, choreographed them as a Ballet.

Emily was thought of as a rebel in her household and community, she attended a Female Seminary is which she was the only one who didn't confess her belief in God. She was thought to have a life long willingness to oppose popular sentiment, and she increasingly withdrew from the public eye in the early sixties. Though somewhat isolated her creativity fluorished, in 1858 she completed only 52 poems but in 1862 she wrote more then 366 poems. Some thought that this abundance of creativity in 1862 came from a love lost in the late fifties that sparked this burst of energy. Her lovers were speculated to be everyone she cared about deeply, from her brother to T.W. Higginson (a poetry critic whom which she became very close friends with) though no romantic links have been made, various studies reveal that at times her feelings were distinctly sexual toward her friends and family, whom she had great passion for. Death is very prevalent in Emilys poetry and even in her life. Sohpia Holland, Emilys cousin and close friend died from Typhus in 1844. Emily was so traumatized that her parents sent her away to recover in Boston with other relatives. She wrote "it seemed to me i should die too if i could not be permitted to watch over her or even look at her face".When Emily went away to a religious school for 7 years to study literature she had an experience in which she said " greatest pleasure to commune alone with the great God and to feel that he would listen to my prayers", but the feeling did not last. she went to church for about two years but never confessed her faith before anyone. When Dickinson returned home her family had befriended a young Attorney, Benjamin Franklin Newton. Newton became a part of the family according to Emily and after his death she felt she had lost a tutor, master, and mentor. It wasn't until the death of Leonard Humphrey, the Academy principle, that Emily began to fall into isolation. She shared this quote with her friend Abiah Root about the extent of her depression, " ...some of my friends are gone, and some of my friends are sleeping--sleeping the churchyard sleep--the hour of evening is sad--it was once my study hour-my master has gone to rest, and the open leaf of the book, and the scholar at school alone, make the tears come, and i cannot brush them away.." The complete isolation came to Emily when her mother was bedridden from a chronic illness and Emily took it as her responsibilty to watch over her mother and be there for her family constantly. Emily had a lot of death that surrounded her life, and is prevalent in a lot of her poems, such as "Because i could not stop for death.."

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