Emily Dickinson was an American poet who lived from December 1830 to May 1886. She was born to a prominent family and studied t Amherst Academy and Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. She was both eccentric and reclusive, known for always wearing white and refusing to greet guests. Although she was extremely reclusive and would not leave her room for much of her life, she carried on relationships with others through correspondence and wrote many letters.
Dickinson was also a prolific writer. Dickinson wrote nearly 1800 poems throughout the course of her life, although less than a dozen were published while she was alive as she kept the majority of them private. The majority of Dickinson's poems were discovered by her younger sister Lavinia after her death, and the poetry was published in 1890 by Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Mabel Loomis Todd. The majority of Dickinson poems that were published were altered significantly. Those that were published when she was alive were edited by editors to correspond with the conventional rules of poetry during the time period. Those that were published following her death were heavily edited by the acquaintances who published the work.
Dickinson's poems tend to stress themes of death, immortality and love. Her poems often lack titles, contain short lines, use unconventional capitalization and punctuation, and use slant rhyme. Although she was one of the singles of her time, Dickinson wrote about great love. She did not focus on, dating presumably because she was among the singles and reclusive in a time before dating services or personals or online dating. Instead, she focused her poems on true love, or on what she perhaps imagined true love to be.
The first unaltered and complete collection of Dickinson's poetry was published in 1955 by Thomas H Johnson. The book, entitled The Poems of Emily Dickinson received somewhat unfavorable reviews at the time. Critics now, however, consider Dickinson to be a major American poet.
The most famous Romantic Dickinson Poems include:
A drop fell on the apple tree.
Another on the roof;
A half a dozen kissed the eaves,
And made the gables laugh.
A few went out to help the brook,
That went to help the sea.
Myself conjectured, Were they pearls,
What necklaces could be!
The dust replaced in hoisted roads,
The birds jocoser sung;
The sunshine threw his hat away,
The orchard spangles hung.
The breezes brought dejected lutes,
And bathed them in the glee;
The East put out a single flag,
And signed the fête away.
A Light exists in Spring
Not present on the Year
At any other period-
When March is scarcely here
A Color stands abroad
On Solitary Fields
That Science cannot overtake
But Human Nature feels.
It waits upon the Lawn,
It shows the furthest Tree
Upon the furthest Slope you know
It almost speaks to you.
Then as Horizons step
Or Noons report away
Without the Formula of sound
It passes and we stay-
A quality of loss
Affecting our Content
As Trade had suddenly encroached
Upon a Sacrament.
A NARROW fellow in the grass
You may have met him,—did you not?
His notice sudden is.
The grass divides as with a comb,
A spotted shaft is seen;
And then it closes at your feet
And opens further on.
He likes a boggy acre,
A floor too cool for corn.
Yet when a child, and barefoot,
I more than once, at morn,
Have passed, I thought, a whip-lash
Unbraiding in the sun,—
When, stooping to secure it,
It wrinkled, and was gone.
Several of nature’s people
I know, and they know me;
I feel for them a transport
But never met this fellow,
Attended or alone,
Without a tighter breathing,
And zero at the bone.
Delight -- becomes pictorial --
When viewed through Pain --
More fair -- because impossible
Than any gain --
The Mountain -- at a given distance --
In Amber -- lies --
Approached -- the Amber flits -- a little --
And That's -- the Skies --
For each ecstatic instant
We must an anguish pay
In keen and quivering ratio
To the ecstasy.
For each beloved hour
Sharp pittances of years,
Bitter contested farthings
And coffers heaped with tears.
God gave a loaf to every bird,
But just a crumb to me;
I dare not eat it, though I starve,--
My poignant luxury
To own it, touch it, prove the feat
That made the pellet mine,--
Too happy in my sparrow chance
For ampler coveting.
It might be famine all around,
I could not miss an ear,
Such plenty smiles upon my board,
My garner shows so fair.
I wonder how the rich may feel,--
An Indiaman--an Earl?
I deem that I with but a crumb
Am sovereign of them all.
"Hope" is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I've heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest sea,
Yet never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
I died for Beauty—but was scarce
Adjusted in the Tomb
When One who died for Truth, was lain
In an adjoining room—
He questioned softly ``Why I failed?''
``For Beauty,'' I replied—
``And I—for Truth—Themself are One—
We Brethren, are,'' He said—
And so, as Kinsmen, met a Night—
We talked between the rooms—
Until the moss had reached our lips—
And covered up—our names—
I had been hungry all the years;
My noon had come, to dine;
I, trembling, drew the table near,
And touched the curious wine.
'T was this on tables I had seen,
When turning, hungry, lone,
I looked in windows, for the wealth
I could not hope to own.
I did not know the ample bread,
'T was so unlike the crumb
The birds and I had often shared
In Nature's dining-room.
The plenty hurt me, 't was so new,
Myself felt ill and odd,
As berry of a mountain bush
Transplanted to the road.
Nor was I hungry; so I found
That hunger was a way
Of persons outside windows,
The entering takes away.
I taste a liquor never brewed,
From tankards scooped in pearl;
Not all the vats upon the Rhine
Yield such an alcohol!
Inebriate of air am I,
And debauchee of dew,
Reeling, through endless summer days,
From inns of molten blue.
When the landlord turn the drunken bee
Out of the foxglove's door,
When butterflies renounce their drams,
I shall but drink the more!
Till seraphs swing their snowy hats,
And saints to windows run,
To see the little tippler
Leaning against the sun!
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