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Emily Dickinson's Adulthood

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My Pham

on 11 April 2013

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Transcript of Emily Dickinson's Adulthood

Adult Life Emily Elizabeth Dickinson Basic Info The Writing Years
1855 - 1865 The Later Years
1865 - 1886 479 Emily Dickinson was born December 10th, 1830
Born in Amherst, Massachusetts
Died May 15th, 1886 at age 55
Wrote most of her poems during her "writing years", 1855 - 1865
Became increasingly isolated in her "later years", 1865 - 1886 This period is when Emily wrote most of her poems and began taking poetry more seriously
The Civil War (1861 - 1865) was during this time, which may have influenced her writing
Moved back to Amherst with her family in 1855
Her older brother Austin moved in close by with his wife; Emily was encouraged to be social
She had a garden year-round, one of her favorite hobbies Emily had written over 1100 poems by the time she turned 35
Almost none of her poems were published; she only shared her work with family members
Only seven were published in her lifetime
A few were printed anonymously in newspapers
Recurring themes of her poems were nature, love, sadness, and joy
She also wrote several letters that are some of the only sources of her personal life, these are known as the "Master Letters" Some letters suggest a troubled romantic relationship that remains unidentified
She also mentions a "trauma" she went through that is also unknown
Diagnosed in 1864 with an eye condition (iritis or Bright's disease) and was treated in Boston
Visits to the eye doctor were her last trips outside Amherst
Did not leave her Homestead after 1865 and became more and more reclusive Did not leave the family homestead after the 1860s
Her poetry writing decreased, she stopped organizing poems into booklets and some writing appeared unfinished
Judge Otis Phillips Lord began courting Emily in the 1870s; although they considered marrying they never did During her later years, many of Emily's friends and family died, including her nephew, Otis Lord, her mother, and her father
Emily died May 15th 1886 of a kidney disease
Emily's poems were discovered after her death hidden around her room and in the walls Because I could not stop for Death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
And Immortality.
We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility –
We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess – in the Ring –
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –
We passed the Setting Sun –
Or rather – He passed Us –
The Dews drew quivering and Chill –
For only Gossamer, my Gown –
My Tippet – only Tulle –
We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground –
The Roof was scarcely visible –
The Cornice – in the Ground –
Since then – 'tis Centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses' Heads
Were toward Eternity – Fun Facts Emily didn't attend her father's funeral
She had a Newfoundland dog names Carlo
Her bedroom window faced a cemetery
She was an avid gardener
She went to college at Mount Holyoke for one year Poetic Devices Personification - Death is personified as a carraige driver
Repetition - in stanza three "we passed" is repeated three times
Alliteration - "gazing grain", "setting sun", "gossamer...gown" and "tippet...tule" Meaning theme of the poem is death, but also eternity and immortality
death is portrayed as a person, a carriage driver, or maybe a friend
the carriage ride is like the speaker's journey through life or look back on life
the "house" in stanza five is a grave
death is compared to eternity
Full transcript