Emily dickinsons private world

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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There are poets and writers like Jack Kerouac and Walt Whitman who lived intensely, who hurtled from one experience to the next and sought to capture it all in their poetry and prose. Then there are poets like Emily Dickinson, who possessed such a rich imagination that though she saw no one but her family for the last twenty-five years of her she created some of the finest poetry ever written. Dickinson was an intensely private person who published just ten poems in her lifetime, in part because she was discouraged from publishing by publishers who didn't understand her poetic methods (Farr, pg. 5). An issue of the Atlantic monthly (which Dickinson read religiously) from January of 1960 recommended that anyone who wanted to be an artist must be lifted away and isolated from worldly surroundings (Farr, pg. 9). It appears that Dickinson took these words to heart. Her poems convey both a sense of intellectual superiority and a sense of isolation that she seems to both cherish and yearn to liberate herself from.

Both the structure of her poems and her syntax reveal the contradictions within a poet whose imagination was fed by her solitude but who also desired tangible sensual experiences. It is unlikely that her poems would be so insightful and perceptive had she been engaged in the daily business of dealing with people, for it is only by removing herself from the world that she could analyze it.

Dickinson's poems reflect the cloistered and enclosed world in which she lived-- they are rarely longer than a stanza or two, reminding the reader of small parcels with intricate wrapping that conceals their true intent. Within the poems the lines themselves are short- most are written in tetrameter or trimeter. She left the majority of them written...