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Emily Dickinson Notes

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Poetry & Poets

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Emily Dickinson- born 12/10/1830 Amherst Massachusetts

-Left school as teen to live reclusive life on family homestead where she wrote notebooks of poetry.

-Work was published after death may 15, 1886. Now considered 1 of towering figues of American lit

-Her paternal grandfather, Samuel Dickinson- founder of Amherst College.

-Her father worked at Amherst and served as a state legislator.

-Father married Emily Norcross in 1828 -three children: William Austin, Lavinia Norcross and Emily.

-Emily Dickinson was educated at Amherst Academy (now Amherst College) and the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary.

-frequent illness and depression. Dickinson's final departure from the academy in 1848 are unknown, it is believed that her fragile emotional state probably played a role.

-Died of kidney disease at age 56 She was laid to rest in her family plot at West Cemetery. The Homestead, where Dickinson was born is now a museum.

-Dickinson's unusual use of syntax and form was lost in the alteration. ---After her sister's death, Lavinia Dickinson discovered hundreds of her poems in notebooks that Emily had filled over the years.

-The first volume of these poems was published in 1890, with additional volumes following. A full compilation, The Poems of Emily Dickinson, wasn't published until 1955.

-She is known for her poignant and compressed verse, which profoundly influenced the direction of 20th century poetry. The strength of her literary voice, as well as her reclusive and eccentric life, contributes to the sense of Dickinson as an indelible American character.

poem- speaker recalls walking through some grass and scaringa snake away. Describes vivid/strange ways, develops into extended metaphor. Snake reminds speaker of meeting certain people that take his breath away.

Snake most important part of poem "Fellow" symbol. Animal (resembles male body part) stand in for sexuality.

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