Unpublished in her lifetime and unknown at her death in 1886, Emily Dickenson stands today in the front rank of American poets. While she lived as a recluse in her father's house in Amheherst, Massachusetts, she dedicated herself to writing her "letter to the World"- the 1,775 poems she left at her death.
At her sister's instigation, a small volume of these were published in 1891, to be followed by 2 more, and then 2 volumes of her letters. More poems appeared in 1914 and again during the twenties, when her place in literature was at last recognized.
FINALLY, in 1950, Harvard University bought all available manuscripts and publishing rights and has since issued, in 6 volumes, the complete collection of poems and letters.
Thomas Wentworth Higginson's account of her correspondence with and visit to Emily-is designed for readers who want the best of the poems and the most interesting letters in convienient form. At her best, she writes as Thoreau wished to live-close to the bone; concentrating the very essence of what she saw and felt in phrases that strike and penetrate like bullets, with an originality of thought unsurpassed in american poetry. Edited by Robert N. Linscott
Emily was a manic-depressive which is today refered to as bipolar. I will include weekly updates to my site on Emily's poetry and her letters. I hope you enjoy her writtings as much as I have and do!!!
Emily was born on December 10, 1830, in New England where purianiam was dying and literature was just coming to life. She was born in a quiet villiage in Amhearst in the Connecticut Valley of Massachusetts. She lived her life outwardly uneventful, inwardly dedicated to a secret and self imposed assignment. Writing her "letter to the world" that would express, in poems of absolute truth and of the utmost economy, her concepts of life and death, of love and nature and what Henry James called "landscape of the soul".
From her family, Emily had love without understanding. Her father was a leading lawyer of the village. He dominated in the househould. Her mother lived in his shadow and was gentle and colorless. Austin, the only son, patterned himself after his father but lacked the self-righteousness of the old puritan.
Lavina, crotchey and outspoken, was a watchdog and protector of her shy, sensitive and sometimes rebellious sister. The family lived in a brick mansion set in spacious grounds on Amherst's main street, and neither sister never married.When her father died in 1874, Emily was quoted as saying, "His heart was pure and terrible. I think no other like it exists.
My Favorite Emily Dickinson Poems
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