Emily Dickinson’s Life And Poetry

May 19, 2022 by Essay Writer

The Story Of My Search

When I was reading about Emily Dickinson’s life and reading her poems, they caught my eye because her life was so much more different than everyone else’s lives. Her poetry was very different and interesting and I wanted to learn more about it. “Emily Dickinson is one of America’s greatest and most original poets of all time. She took definitions as her province and challenged the existing definitions of poetry and the poets work.” (Emily Dickinson, pg.1) This made me wonder; “Why did Emily Dickinson choose to live her life the way she did and why did she write poetry the way she did?”

Before I researched I already knew that Emily Dickinson kept her poetry private and that she isolated herself from the world. This topic is interesting to me because Dickinson’s poetry is interesting to read. Her lifestyle is also interesting to read about. I hope to learn why did she write poetry the way she did and why did she isolate herself from the people and the outside world.

I began by using inspire and found biographies of her life and found lots of great information about my topic. I found most of my information in biographies about her life on “go.galegroup” and printed out the sources. I began reading, highlighting, annotating and started paraphrasing. I ran into a few problems when I searched for Emily Dickinson’s poetry in the literature search but not a lot of sources came up that could’ve helped me in my research process.

The Result Of My Search

According to the article “Emily Dickinson’s Biography” (Emily Dickinson), Emily Dickinson was a famous writer and poet she was born on December 10, 1830 in Amherst Massachusetts. She left school when she was a teenager. She lived life on a family homestead. While she was there she secretly made bundles of poetry and wrote hundreds of letters. Her grandfather Samual Dickinson was the founder of Amherst College. Dickinson was a great student at Amherst college for a few years then she attended Mount Holyoke Female Seminary then after a year she left. Dickinson was sent a poetry book from one of her influences Leonard Humphrey, who was the principal of Amherst college. People began to make assumptions about Dickinson that she had depression, anxiety, and agoraphobia because she had to take care of her sick mother. On May 15, 1886 at the age of 55 Emily Dickinson died of kidney disease in Amherst Massachusetts.

According to the source “Emily Dickinson” (go.galegroup), she spent most of her life writing a large amount of poems around 1,775 poems is what she wrote, but only ten of them were published in her lifetime. Dickinson sent over 102 poems to Thomas Wentworth Higginson he advised Emily Dickinson to study further but he never offered to publish one of the poems she sent to him. After Dickinson died her sister Lavinia sent her poems to be published and Dickinson’s poems sold very quickly. By the time Dickinson was a teenager she realized her father was the most important influence in her life. Dickinson’s mother was a simpler person dedicated to the home and family. “Like her mother she grew up thinking domestic duties as her responsibility but also demonstrated an early love as poetry.” (Emily Dickinson pg.2) Dickinson copied out poems from the newspapers and from her fathers collection in his library, trying to improve the original. In 1841 she started to attend Amherst college where she was studying French, Latin, History, Geology, Botany, and Philosophy. She became ill and didn’t have the best attendance, but still graduated in 1847. After she graduated and attended Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, she was homesick but soon adapted to the school and made new friends among the 300 girls at the school.

According to the source “Emily Dickinson” (biography in context) by the 1860s, Dickinson lived in almost complete isolation from the outside world and she only spent her time with family. Dickinson’s poems were influenced by metaphysical poets. She loved reading poetry by Robert Browning and Elizabeth Browning. Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson are now holders of the American poetic voices.

Reflections On My Search

Finding information about Emily Dickinson wasn’t to difficult to do. I’ve learned how to put together a research paper. Finding sources was easy for me. Coming up with a topic/question was the hardest part for me. Next time a write a research paper I will try to find better or more sources with lots of good information.

All in all, I found the answer to my research topic “why did Emily Dickinson choose to live her life the way she did and why did she write poetry the way she did?”. In Emily Dickinson life she isolated herself from the outside world because she was ill for some time and because she wanted to focus on her poetry and just spend time with family whenever she wasn’t writing her poetry. In her poetry, she had a different writing style and made up her own way to write her poetry. She wrote over 1,000 poems that way and they still got published and sold out quickly. People to this day still buy and read her poetry.

Works Cited

  1. “Emily Dickinson Biography”, biography, A&E Television Networks, 2 Apr. 2014.
  2. “Emily Dickinson”, edickinson, www.poetryfoundation.
  3. “Emily Dickinson”, go.galegroup, 27 Mar. 2018, biography in context.
  4. “Poet; Emily Dickinson”, Academy of American Poets, www.poets.org.


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