The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily DickinsonDickinson’s poetry is remarkable for its tightly controlled emotional and intellectual energy. The longest poem covers less than two pages. Yet in theme and tone her writing reaches for the sublime as it charts the landscape of the human soul. A true innovator, Dickinson experimented freely with conventional rhythm and meter, and often used dashes, off rhymes, and unusual metaphors—techniques that strongly influenced modern poetry. Dickinson’s idiosyncratic style, along with her deep resonance of thought and her observations about life and death, love and nature, and solitude and society, have firmly established her as one of America’s true poetic geniuses.
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. Sister and brother alike were taken with her poised erudition and her Uranian handsomeness — her flat, full lips and dark eyes were not exactly masculine, her unchiseled oval face and low forehead not exactly feminine. Now both she and her brother found themselves in a strange bewitchment of figures, placing Susan at one point of a triangle. Nearly two decades after Susan entered her heart, she would write with unblunted desire:.
My Name Is Emily
Nuala O'Connor's novel Miss Emily vividly brings Emily Dickinson to life, depicting her reclusive days amongst her parents and sister at their estate, the Homestead in Amherst, Mass. O'Connor picks her favorite Dickinson poems. Links to the poems are provided. Ten or so poems were published in her lifetime, mostly without her consent. In life and in art Emily Dickinson was idiosyncratic — she did not choose the prescribed life of a well to-do woman of her era marriage etc. This poem illustrates how intoxicating the natural world was to Dickinson. Luckily the house she chose to sequester herself inside, in the latter part of her life, was set on large grounds.
Elise Cowen. Archives teach us the importance of naming, assigning an umbrella under which objects are saved and preserved. My journey with Cowen begins in an archive where she is misnamed from the very beginning. What are the odds that there was also an Elsie Cowan corresponding with Peter Orlovsky? I found the letter and saw that it was typed on Columbia University stationary, another clear indicator that yes, this is Elise. Skir, at least, was saying her name and spelling it correctly. Support Electric Lit: Become a Member!