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American Authors Research Project: Emily Dickinson

913 words - 4 pages

Between 1858 and 1864 Emily Dickinson wrote over 40 hand bound volumes of nearly 1800 poems, yet during her lifetime only a few were published. Perhaps this is why today we see Dickinson as a highly influential writer, unlike those during her time who did not see the potential. Emily Dickinson wrote towards the end of the romanticism era, but considered more of a realist, ahead of her time and one to shape the new movement. The main characteristic of Romanticism that Dickinson portrays in her writing emphases of the importance of nature to the Romantics, but she is known as a realist because of her concern and fascination with death, and the harsh realities of life. Emily Dickinson’s ...view middle of the document...

This works later on made a great impact on American Literature.
The Poetry of Emily Dickinson by Martha Hale Shackford was a critical essay on some of Dickinson’s poems. The criticism discusses Dickinson’s use of compression, epigrammatic ambush, and chaotic rhymes. To the general reader her poems may seem uninspired, imperfect, and crude, but to those who further their education they offer the most stimulating material for examination. To Dickinson poetry was the expression of vital meanings, and transfer of passionate feeling and conviction. Her work is not slow, repeating harmonies of epic measures, the purpose is to objectify the swiftly passing moments. Not only this but you have to be responsive to her various emotional moods. Every one of her phrases is a direct reflection of her personality (Shackford). I agree with the argument because looking at many of Dickinson’s works you can see exactly what Shackford meant. All of her works were short and to the point, but this did not make them lose their emotional appeal. Instead it stimulates more involvement from the reader in analyzing the work:
Drab habitation of whom?
Tabernacle or tomb,
Or dome of worm,
Or porch of gnome,
Or some elf's catacomb.

This, an excerpt from the poem “Cocoon” showed Dickinson’s use of chaotic rhymes, as well as epigrammatic ambushes, or short phrases put together to make a work. Another example from the poem Hummingbird:
Pain has an element of blank;
It cannot recollect
When it began, or if there were
A day when it was not.
It has no future but itself,
Its infinite realms contain
Its past, enlightened to perceive
New periods of pain.
Shows how truly emotional...

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