Search more than 3, biographies of contemporary and classic poets. Emily Dickinson was born on December 10, , in Amherst, Massachusetts. Her father, Edward Dickinson, was actively involved in state and national politics, serving in Congress for one term. Her brother, Austin, who attended law school and became an attorney, lived next door with his wife, Susan Gilbert. Dickinson's poetry was heavily influenced by the Metaphysical poets of seventeenth-century England, as well as her reading of the Book of Revelation and her upbringing in a Puritan New England town, which encouraged a Calvinist, orthodox, and conservative approach to Christianity.
Who Was Emily Dickinson?
Four months before her twentieth birthday, Emily Dickinson December 10, —May 15, met the person who became her first love and remained her greatest — an orphaned mathematician-in-training by the name of Susan Gilbert, nine days her junior. I devote more than one hundred pages of Figuring to their beautiful, heartbreaking, unclassifiable relationship that fomented some of the greatest, most original and paradigm-shifting poetry humanity has ever produced. This essay is drawn from my book. Susan Gilbert had settled in Amherst, to be near her sister, after graduating from the Utica Female Academy — one of a handful of academically rigorous educational institutions available to women at the time.
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It seems to me that he contains in far finer form pretty much everything that is valuable in her thought. A poet is unique, incomparable, and to make these comparisons between poets is to ignore the primary laws of criticism, which seeks to discover the essential individuality of writers, not their chance resemblances. It is as futile as it is unjust to parallel Father Tabb's work with Emily Dickinson's: his is full of quiet reverie; hers has a sharp stabbing quality which disturbs and overthrows the spiritual ease of the reader. Emily Dickinson is one of our most original writers, a force destined to endure in American letters. There is no doubt that critics are justified in complaining that her work is often cryptic in thought and unmelodious in expression. Almost all of her poems are written in short measures, in which the effect of curt brevity is increased by her verbal penuriousness. Compression and epigrammatical ambush are her aids; she proceeds, without preparation or apology, by sudden, sharp zigzags.
Emily Dickinson left school as a teenager, eventually living a reclusive life on the family homestead. There, she secretly created bundles of poetry and wrote hundreds of letters. Due to a discovery by sister Lavinia, Dickinson's remarkable work was published after her death — on May 15, , in Amherst — and she is now considered one of the towering figures of American literature. Dickinson was born on December 10, , in Amherst, Massachusetts. Her family had deep roots in New England. Her paternal grandfather, Samuel Dickinson, was well known as the founder of Amherst College. Her father worked at Amherst and served as a state legislator. Dickinson ultimately never joined a particular church or denomination, steadfastly going against the religious norms of the time. Dickinson began writing as a teenager.