Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson 1830-1886 Lecture 7 512 The soul has moments of Escape When bursting all the doors She dances like a Bomb, abroad, And swings opon the Hours,

Born in 1830 in Amherst, Massachusetts Her father a lawyer (Mass. state senate and US Congress) Her mother a housewife Dickinson children Austin (b. 1829) Emily (b. 1830)

Lavinia (b. 1833) House Dickinson Homestead: 1830-1839 Pleasant Street: 1839-1855 Homestead: 1855-death Emily and her father "I never knew how to tell time by the clock till I was 15. My father

thought he had taught me but I did not understand & I was afraid to say I did not & afraid to ask anyone else lest he should know" (L342b). His Heart was pure and terrible and I think no other like it exists. [I] always ran Home to Awe [Austin] when a child, if anything befell me. He was an awful Mother, but I liked him better than none. Poetry If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire ever can warm me I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my

head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only way I know it. Is there any other way? 657 I dwell in Possibility A fairer House than Prose More numerous of Windows Superior for Doors Of Chambers as the Cedars

Impregnable of Eye And for an Everlasting Roof The Gambrels of the Sky Of Visiters the fairest For Occupation This The spreading wide my my narrow Hands To gather Paradise Religious faith

I never enjoyed such perfect peace and happiness as the short time in which I felt I had found my savior [1845] greatest pleasure to commune alone with the great God & to feel that he would listen to my prayers. Some keep the Sabbath going to Church / I keep it, staying at Home Calvinists Emilys father, mother, sister, brother, friends

I am one of the lingering bad ones" (L36). 1858-1865: writing period 40 fascicles, 800 poems unknown during her lifetime Correspondants Susan Gilbert: 250 poems Thomas Wentworth Higginson: 100 poems

Judge Otis Phillips Lord Romance, 1870s Narrator / Poet When I state myself, as the Representative of the Verse it does not mean me but a supposed person Common meter

8 syllable verse 6 syllable verse 8 syllable verse 6 syllable verse rhyming between 2nd and 4th lines Working for several years, my Lexicon was my only companion (L261).

709 Publication is the Auction Of the Mind of Man Poverty be justifying For so foul a thing Possibly but We would rather From Our Garret go White unto the White Creator Than invest Our Snow

Publication history When the first volume of her poetry was published in 1890, four years after her death, it met with stunning success. Going through eleven editions in less than two years, the poems eventually extended far beyond their first household audiences. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/emily-dickinson

The works Poems of Emily Dickinson (1890), ed. Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Mabel Loomis Todd. titles punctuation altering words Criticism It is plain that Miss Dickinson possessed an extremely unconventional

and grotesque fancy. She was deeply tinged by the mysticism of Blake, and strongly influenced by the mannerism of Emerson ... But the incoherence and formlessness of her versicles are fatal ... an eccentric, dreamy, half-educated recluse in an out-of-the-way New England village (or anywhere else) cannot with impunity set at defiance the laws of gravitation and grammar". Thomas Bailey Aldrich, The Atlantic Monthly, 1892 Poems

19 A sepal, petal, and a thorn Upon a common summers morn A flask of Dew a Bee or two A Breeze a caper in the trees And Im a Rose! 288

Im Nobody! Who are you? Are you Nobody too? Then theres a pair of us! Dont tell! theyd advertise you know! How dreary to be Somebody! How public like a Frog To tell ones name the livelong June To an admiring Bog!

632 The Brain is wider than the Sky For put them side by side The one the other will contain With ease and You beside The Brain is deeper than the sea For hold them Blue to Blue The one the other will absorb As Sponges Buckets do

The Brain is just the weight of God For Heft them Pound for Pound And they will differ if they do As syllable from Sound - 185 Faith is a fine invention When Gentlemen can see But Microscopes are prudent

In an Emergency. 568 We learned the Whole of Love The Alphabet the Words A Chapter then the mighty Book Then Revelation closed! But in Each Others eyes an Ignorance beheld

Diviner than the Childhoods And each to each, a Child Attempted to expound What Neither understood Alas, that Wisdom is so large And truth - so manifold! 269 Wild nights - Wild nights!

Were I with thee Wild nights should be Our luxury! Futile - the winds To a Heart in port Done with the Compass Done with the Chart! Rowing in Eden Ah - the Sea! Might I but moor - tonight In thee! 642 Me from Myself to banish

Had I Art Impregnable my Fortress Unto All Heart But since Myselfassault Me How have I peace Except by subjugating Consciousness? And since We're mutual Monarch How this be

Except by Abdication Me of Me?" 449 I died for Beauty but was scarce Adjusted in the Tomb When One who died for Truth, was lain in an adjoining Room He questioned softly Why I failed?

For Beauty, I replied And I for Truth Themself are One We Bretheren, are, He said And so, as Kinsmen, met a Night We talked between the Rooms Until the Moss had reached our lips And covered up our names - 28

So has a Daisy vanished From the fields today So tiptoed many a slipper To Paradise away Oozed so in crimson bubbles Days departing tide Blooming tripping flowing Are ye then with God?

441 This is my letter to the World That never wrote to Me The simple News that Nature told With tender Majesty Her Message is committed To Hands I cannot see For love of Her Sweet countrymen Judge tenderly of Me.

324 Some keep the Sabbath going to Church I keep it, staying at Home With a Bobolink for a Chorister And an Orchard, for a Dome Some keep the Sabbath in Surplice I, just wear my Wings And instead of tolling the Bell, for Church,

Our little Sexton sings. God preaches, a noted Clergyman And the sermon is never long, So instead of getting to Heaven, at last Im going, all along. 465 I heard a Fly buzz - when I died The Stillness in the Room Was like the Stillness in the Air Between the Heaves of Storm The Eyes around - had wrung them dry And Breaths were gathering firm

For that last Onset - when the King Be witnessed - in the Room I willed my Keepsakes - Signed away What portion of me be Assignable - and then it was There interposed a Fly With Blue - uncertain stumbling Buzz Between the light - and me And then the Windows failed - and then I could not see to see - 76 Exultation is the going

Of an island soul to sea, Past the houses past the headlands Into deep Eternity Bred as we, among the mountains, Can the sailor understand The divine intoxication Of the first league out from land? 49

I never lost as much but twice, And that was in the sod. Twice have I stood a beggar Before the door of God! Angels twice descending Reimbursed my store Burglar! Banker Father! I am poor once more!

67 Success is counted sweetest By those who ne'er succeed. To comprehend a nectar Requires sorest need. Not one of all the Purple Host Who took the Flag today Can tell the definition So clear of Victory

As he defeated - dying On whose forbidden ear The distant strains of triumph Burst agonized and clear! 151 Mute thy Coronation Meek my Vive le roi, Fold a tiny courtier In thine ermine, Sir,

There to rest revering Till the pageant by, I can murmur broken, Master, It was I 214 I taste a liquor never brewed From Tankards scooped in Pearl Not all the Vats upon the Rhine Yield such an Alcohol! Inebriate of Air - am I And Debauchee of Dew Reeling - thro endless summer days From inns of Molten Blue When "Landlords" turn the drunken Bee

Out of the Foxglove's door When Butterflies - renounce their "drams" I shall but drink the more! Till Seraphs swing their snowy Hats And Saints - to windows run To see the little Tippler Leaning against the - Sun! 650 Pain - has an Element of Blank It cannot recollect When it begun 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. 435 Much Madness is divinest Sense To a discerning Eye Much Sense the starkest Madness Tis the Majority

In this, as All, prevail Assent and you are sane Demur youre straightaway dangerous And handled with a Chain - 280 I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, And Mourners to and fro Kept treading - treading - till it seemed

That Sense was breaking through And when they all were seated, A Service, like a Drum Kept beating - beating - till I thought My mind was going numb And then I heard them lift a Box And creak across my Soul With those same Boots of Lead, again, Then Space - began to toll, As all the Heavens were a Bell, And Being, but an Ear,

And I, and Silence, some strange Race, Wrecked, solitary, here And then a Plank in Reason, broke, And I dropped down, and down And hit a World, at every plunge, And Finished knowing - then - 125 For each ecstatic instant We must an anguish pay In keen and quivering ratio

To the ecstasy. For each beloved hour Sharp pittances of years Bitter contested farthings And Coffers heaped with Tears! 1732 My life closed twice before its close It yet remains to see

If Immortality unveil A third event to me, So huge, so hopeless to conceive As these that twice befell. Parting is all we know of heaven, And all we need of hell. 1624 Apparently with no surprise

To any happy Flower The Frost beheads it at its play In accidental power The blonde Assassin passes on The Sun proceeds unmoved To measure off another Day For an Approving God. 1078

The Bustle in a House The Morning after Death Is Solemnest of industries Enacted upon Earth The Sweeping up the Heart And putting Love away We shall not want to use again Until Eternity.

1129 Tell all the Truth but tell it slant Success in Circuit lies Too bright for our infirm Delight The Truths superb surprise As Lightning to the Children eased With explanation kind The Truth must dazzle gradually Or every man be blind -

89 Some things that fly there be Birds Hours the Bumblebee Of these no Elegy. Some things that stay there be Grief Hills Eternity Nor this behooveth me. There are that resting, rise.

Can I expound the skies? How still the Riddle lies!

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