Emily Dickinson's eternal verses

Emily Dickinson is widely seen as one of America's best 19th-century poets. But only seven of her 1,000-plus poems were published in her lifetime.

She was born in Amherst, Mass., in 1830, attended Amherst Academy, and spent a year at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary (now Mount Holyoke College). Her work was profoundly shaped, though, by her father's strict religious teachings and her reading - the Bible, hymns, Shakespeare, and the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson, whom she considered a spiritual mentor.

Dickinson questioned traditional faith and often explored the subject of self and its ultimate destiny. She lived a quiet life, but her punctuation and images were bold. She was a master of using - and altering - simple metrical forms like hymns and folk songs.

She corresponded with Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a clergyman and author in Cambridge, Mass., for more than 20 years. Higginson believed her work was unpublishable. But after her death in 1886, he helped Emily's sister, Lavinia, publish a collection of 115 poems.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
QR Code to Emily Dickinson's eternal verses
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today