Emily Dickinson was a very complex figure, and everyone tries to claim her for their camp - Cultists, Christians, Psychiatrists, Sardinians, etc., - but I guess the truth is that, although there's a certain amount of truth in all these positions, Emily Dickinson is just too big to be contained. She bursts free of all categories. Like her poems she explodes into a multiplicity of meanings, perhaps because, like them she wasn't about something, but about everything. Somethings I found interesting was that she was how playful Dickinson was. " I'm nobody! Who are you? Are you - Nobody - too? Then there's a pair of us!." She can also be sarcastic ""Faith" is a fine invention. When Gentlemen can see -But Microscopes are prudent In an Emergency. She was also desperate or sound that way. ""Hope" is the thing with feathers -That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words-"She could also be self-aware.
"meant to have but modest needs -Such as Content - and Heaven -Within my income - these could lie And Life and I - keep even -". She is a poet of strikingly apt and totally original phrases imbued with a deep resonance of thought and observation, especially on her favorite subjects, life, death and love. She can be cryptic and her references and allusions are sometimes too private for us to catch. She can also be amazingly terse. Emily Dickinson is an extremely powerful and misunderstood poet and, indeed, have spent several ultimately worthwhile hours poring over her short poems to discover the sexual/spiritual depths. For the record: I think part of Dickinson's persona is sadomachistic, but it is only a piece of a complex puzzle.