The Influence Of Personal Experiences In Emily Dickinson's Poetry



None of Emily Dickinson's readers has met the woman who lived and died
in Amherst, Massachusetts more than a century ago, yet most of those same
readers feel as if they know her closely. Her reclusive life made understanding
her quite difficult. However, taking a close look at her verses, one can learn a
great deal about this remarkable woman. The poetry of Emily Dickinson delves
deep into her mind, exposing her personal experiences and their influence on her
thoughts about religion, love, and death. By examining her life some, and
reading her poetry in a certain light, one can see an obvious autobiographical
connection.
All the beliefs and emotions Emily Dickinson wrote about were ...

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of the Bible intimately, quoted from it extensively, and
referred to it many more times than she referred to any other work... yet in
this regard she was not unusual by Amherst's standards” (72). The most
prominent figure of religious virtues in her life was her father, Edward
Dickinson. Reading the Bible to his children and speaking in town of religious
ethics were daily events in his life. At home, he tried to raise his children
in the rigorous religion of their ancestors, however his methods appeared quite
harsh. People who knew the Dickinsons referred to Edward as a “severe, latter-
day Puritan, a power-minded tyrant...”, and his home was often depicted as a “
gloomy prison” (Sewall 8). In fact, Emily's fear and awe of him seemed to
dominate her life. Although he read aloud from his Bible, conducted prayer
service in his home daily, and he educated his children in a strict Puritan way,
he himself was not quite a believer. He delayed conversion until well into
middle age, ...

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so seems
To Comprehend the Whole -
The Others look a needless Show -
So I write - Poets - All -...
...And if the Further Heaven -
Be beautiful as they prepare
For Those who worship Them -
It is too difficult a Grace -
To justify the Dream - (Sewall 355)

On several occasions, Emily went as far as calling herself a pagan. The
bitterness with which the comment was made may have been aroused by the same
feeling as in the line “Of Course - I Prayed - / And did God Care?” of one of
her poems. Unable to accept Heaven, she was left only with this brief world,
which, without Heaven, seemed somewhat of a dreadful place to her. She wrote in
a letter once a prayer ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 8/14/2006 11:34:35 PM
Category: Poetry & Poets
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2268
Pages: 9

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