Emily Dickinson

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"You only enshroud yourself in the fiery mist and I cannot reach you, but only rejoice on the rare sparkles of light," said Thomas Higginson; noting how difficult it was to capture one of America's best poets, Emily Dickinson. Dickinson proved to be an elusive subject time and time again through her unique writing style (Blooms 1). But why did she write the way she did? Throughout her life, Dickinson encountered many things that affected her poetry, whether they were her family, famous poets, or traumatic events.
At 5:00 AM on December 10, 1830, Emily Dickinson was born at the Homestead, a brick mansion built by her grandfather (Blooms 1). She was born and raised in Amherst, Massachusetts, and resided there until her death on May 15, 1886. She graduated from Amherst Academy in 1847 and enrolled in a private girls' school, Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. She was struck by illness during her freshman year and was forced to leave the school. Her life after her illness became very narrow and she grew more eccentric as time passed (Huffstutler 1-2). She often only talked to people behind closed doors as a child and her sister Lavinia acted as her buffer to the outside world (Huffstutler 3). As Dickinson turned inward, she also turned to writing poetry.
Emily Dickinson encountered many tragedies throughout her lifetime. After the death of her father in1874, Dickinson seemed to be constantly preoccupied with death. A year later, her mother had a stroke which made her an invalid for the rest of her life. Two of Dickinson's closest friends died in 1877 and 1882. She also lost her favorite nephew, who was only eight years old. As a result, Dickinson had a nervous breakdown in 1884 and was soon confined to her bed. Two more of her friends die...

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... from Emerson (Blooms 1). Different critics view Dickinson in different ways, but she was most commonly known as a regionalist. She wrote about her native region, New England, and her poems were said to reflect its Puritan tradition, Yankee humor, and spiritual unrest (Huffstutler 2-3). Her work has encouraged modern poets to experiment with their language and form due to her altering of traditional form and thought (Huffstutler 3).
Emily Dickinson proved time and time again to be worthy of her title as one of the best poets in American history. She not only contains all the essential qualities of a good poet, but she also contains rare qualities that make her stand out. Dickinson played a huge role in earning her title, but she did not earn it by herself. Dickinson’s life, from great tragedies to loving family members and famous poets, greatly inspired her poetry.

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