Emily Dickinson Bio • Emily Dickinson was born on 10 December 1830 in Amherst, in western Massachusetts, and died there on 15 May 1886. • Dickinson almost all social life in Amherst. She refused to see most people, and aside from a single year at South Hadley Female Seminary (now Mount Holyoke College), one excursion to Philadelphia and Washington, and several brief trips to Boston to see a doctor about eye problems, she lived all her life in her father's house. She dressed only in white and developed a reputation as a reclusive eccentric. Dickinson selected her own society carefully and frugally. Like her poetry, her relationship to the world was intensely reticent. Indeed, during the last twenty years of her life she rarely left the house. • Though Dickinson was certainly a skeptic. Though she lived in a world charged with religious and spiritual fervor–the last waves of the Second Great Awakening, Calvinist pietism, Emersonian Transcendentalism–she paddled against the general stream. Though she attended the Mount Holyoke Seminary, Dickinson never “converted” like so many of her peers. • Dickinson never married, she had significant relationships with several men who were friends, confidantes, and mentors. Biographers have attempted to find in a number of her relationships the source for the passion of some of her love poems and letters, but no biographer has been able to identify definitely the object of Dickinson's love. What matters, of course, is not with whom she was in love--if, in fact, there was any single person--but that she wrote about such passions so intensely and convincingly in her poetry.
Poetical Devices • Apparent gaps are filled with meaning if we are sensitive to her use of devices such as personification, allusion, symbolism, imagery, and startling syntax and grammar. Since her use of dashes is sometimes puzzling, it helps to read her poems aloud to hear how carefully the words are arrange. • While Dickinson's dashes often stand in for more varied punctuation, at other times they serve as bridges between sections of the poem—bridges that are not otherwise readily apparent. Dickinson may also have intended for the dashes to indicate pauses when reading the poem aloud. • Dickinson often used slant rhyme - rhyme in which there is close but not exact correspondence of sounds (Ex.: lid, lad; wait, made)
The Kiss,“The Kiss” by Pablo Picasso Respond in writing to the text. What is the meaning of this picture? Analyze for sensory detail, theme, and purpose. How can an image be distorted by individual perception? How can we translate the image into words?
Bog Frog. Paul Casper. 2005.
I'm nobody! Who are you? Are you nobody, too? Then there's a pair of us -- don't tell! They'd advertise -- you know! How dreary to be somebody! How public like a frog To tell one's name the livelong day To an admiring bog!
“The Soul Selects her Own Society” THE SOUL selects her own Society-- Then-- shuts the Door-- On her divine Majority-- Present no more-- Unmoved-- she notes the Chariots-- pausing At her low Gate-- Unmoved-- an emperor be kneeling Upon her Mat-- I ’ve known her-- from an ample nation -- Choose One-- Then-- close the Valves of her attention -- Like Stone--
“Tell All the Truth” • Tell all the Truth but tell it slant---Success in Circuit liesToo bright for our infirm DelightThe Truth's superb surpriseAs Lightening to the Children easedWith explanation kindThe Truth must dazzle graduallyOr every man be blind---
Because I Could Not Stop For Death BECAUSE I could not stop for Death - He kindly stopped for me – The carriage held but just Ourselves— And Immortality. We slowly drove— he knew no haste, And I had put away My labor, and my leisure too, For his Civility— We passed the School where children strove At Recess - in the Ring - We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain— We passed the Setting Sun— Or rather– He passed Us— The Dews drew quivering and chill— For only Gossamer, my Gown— My Tippet– Only Tulle— We paused before a House that seemed A swelling of the Ground— The Roof was scarcely visible— The Cornice– in the Ground— Since then --’tis centuries– and yet Feels shorter than the Day I first surmised the Horses’ Heads Were toward Eternity--
Assignment: • Go online and choose an Emily Dickinson poem. • Find an image that matches the poem. • Using Powerpoint or Prezi, create a 3+ slides that include the poem, image, analysis, and works cited • Write an analysis of the poem – • 1. What is the central message/theme of the poem? • 2. What images does she use and how does she use them, • 3. What literary techniques does she use? • 4 How does Dickinson use language to create the central message/theme ? • Explain how your image relates to the poem
Works Cited • Merriman, C.D. “Emily Dickinson.” Literature Online. 2006. Web. 27 October 2011. • “Sweet Skepticism of the Heart.” Daily Dickisnon. 09 January 2009. Web. 27 October 2011. • “Transcendental Legacy in Literature.” American Transcendental Web. Virginia Commonwealth University. Web 27 October 2011.