Emily Dickinson Poetry Analysis

1463 Words6 Pages
Brendan Schick
Mr. Ingrassia
English IV, Period 3
Due: November 3rd, 2015
The Themes, Styles, and Techniques of Emily Dickinson Emily Dickinson, one of the greatest American poets of the nineteenth century used many different themes, styles, and techniques that make her poetry so widely popular. The enigma that is Emily Dickinson continues to befuddle experts and leaves readers with a sense of deep, intimate connection through poetry. Even though she was a recluse, Emily Dickinson’s poems present universal themes that can communicate with the reader of the poems.
The theme of death is the most prevalent theme throughout all of Emily Dickinson’s poems. According to literary critic Anna Priddy, “Emily Dickinson is often characterized as a poet
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Her poems tend to take great joy in nature and feature some of the most original depictions of the natural world and its inhabitants (Priddy 51).
Emily Dickinson was raised in a Puritan New England home, and was surrounded by religion every day. Even though Dickinson did not participate in public religious life, she often wrote about deep religious issues such as doubt, salvation, and death. While her poems frequently refer to religion, her poetry frequently contrasts organized religion with private faith. Dickinson tends to question faith, bordering on asking slightly blasphemous questions (Priddy
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Poets such as Elizabeth and Robert Browning, John Keats, William Wordsworth, and William Shakespeare all helped mold the style of Emily Dickinson’s poetry (“Emily Dickinson” 3). However, unlike these famous poets, Dickinson opted to write her own style of poetry and experimented with new ways to write poems. Unlike her predecessors and contemporaries, Dickinson did not write her poetry in iambic pentameter; instead, she modeled her poetical format under something known as hymn form. Hymn form, which is also known as common meter, was used in the majority of Emily Dickinson’s poems. She modeled her poetry after the New England Congregationalist hymnologist, Isaac Watts (Leiter 334). Dickinson’s application of hymn form is what makes her poetry so avant-garde, but scholars are confused as to why she used it in the first place. Linguistic scholar Cristanne Miller suggests that Watts may have attracted Dickinson with his frequent use of irregular rhymes and harsh-sounding phrases (Leiter 334). Some feminist scholars have claimed that Dickinson’s refusal to use iambic pentameter in her poetry suggests that she was “deliberately rejecting the established norms of patriarchal literature” (Leiter 334).
Literary critic, Brita Lindberg-Seyersted has noted that Dickinson’s language is more like that of a modern poet. Her rhymes and use of imagery are also viewed as modern. The uniqueness of her poetry “places
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