Work of Emily Dickinson

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Dickinson said in a letter, "All men say 'what' to me"; readers are still saying "What?" in response to some of her poems. Emily did not write for her time, but for the time ahead of her, the time that would be ready for her. Her off-rhyme, erratic meter, and skewed grammar; makes her an innovator of the poetic language, and influencer to poets after her time. Her originality places her in her own era of poetry. To read her thoroughly, you must read her poetry at least 50 times, and each time for a different meaning. Along with a 1844 Webster's Dictionary by your side.

Emily Dickinson lived in Amherst, Massachusetts until her death. Her parents lived in the society of the Victorians, during the nineteenth century. They were very strict on the male and females roles. As some might say "she exaggerated the female role" by choosing not to marry, and live in her father's house in solitude. Critics believe this was her way of going against woman's rights. As a woman of her time, she knew her functions as a woman would never be fulfilled. Therefore, her solitary gave her the space to write her poetry, freeing her from woman's duties. Emily Dickinson wrote letters and poems until her dying day. Although, only five to ten poems of hers were published during her time, she has become history still trying to be studied.

Dickinson played with construction. She wrote multiple poems, so indecisive on words that she staked up words on top of another. "She enjoyed words, and was amused by reading the Webster's dictionary (1844)." Editors in that sense had to pick one word in publishing her works. So we ask ourselves is this really what she wanted it to be? Can a critic really try to interpret one of her poems when not knowing if Emily's word choice would have been that of her sisters or editor? As stylistic as she is in her writing one must see the original print of her work. One must know the original meaning of her words. She wrote in a secretive language with each letter, word, metaphor, and noun having its own hidden meaning. Her reason for writing in fascicles was because, her work wasn't meant to be printed. It takes away the hidden meaning, the puzzle, the maze of what she is trying to say.

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