Emily Dickinson's Obsession with Death Essay
776 Words4 Pages
Emily Dickinson's Obsession with Death
Emily Dickinson's obsession with death has puzzled scholars for many decades. If a reader wanted to, he could put every one of Emily Dickinson's nearly 2,000 poems and letters (so many that later, they were assigned numbers for easier organization) into 4 categories: Love, death, pain and the self. The poems about death are the most captivating and puzzling, "The poems that issue from this spiritual exercise are among her most impressive," (Cunningham 45).
In order to understand some of the feelings Dickinson expresses and to learn how the way she chose to live her life affected her unique poetic style, it is important to look at her life before she began to write and the atmosphere she grew up…show more content…
Austin also married Dickinson's best friend, Susan Huntington Gilbert, making her Dickinson's sister-in-law. Austin and Susan lived next door and grew to be very close to Dickinson.
While in her early twenties, after two years of college, Dickinson began to write sketches of poems on the backs of recipes and used envelopes. By 1858, she started to copy her poems in ink and was gathering them in little packets loosely bound by thread. Dickinson only considered publication once in 1862 when she sent four poems to Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a rising young man of letters, and attached a note asking if "her verse was alive", (Rupp 45). His response must have discouraged her and she never made any more attempts to publish anything. Instead, she sent her works to friends in the form of letters. These letters perplexed all of the recipients on account of their morbid connotations and the gloomy feeling they gave to the reader. Only after she died was she ever recognized as a talented poet, "She concentrated on the very essence of what she was and felt in phrases that strike and penetrate like bullets, and with and originality of thought unsurpassed in American poetry", (White 19).
Although Dickinson was obviously good at heart, the townspeople did not know
Emily Dickinson's Poetry About Death Essay
572 Words3 Pages
Emily Dickinson's Poetry About Death
"Emily Dickinson's Poems about death grew out of her reactions to the tragic events in her personal life." In three of her poems, her style of writing reflects her way of life. 'I heard a Fly buzz when I died', 'My life closed twice before its close' and 'I felt a Funeral in my brain' all reflect on Dickinson's feelings and emotions towards death. In 'I felt a funeral in my Brain', Dickinson describes her own funeral in perfect detail. As if she is an observer of the service. As shown in the title of the poem, Dickinson seems to be feeling all of these emotions in her ?brain? or so she states. ?And when they all were seated. A Service, like a Drum-kept beating-beating-beating-till I…show more content…
In the poem, Dickinson describes every detail about how she is dying. It is her own portrayal of death in a sense.
In another one of Dickinson?s poems, ?The Bustle in a House? describes life after death, and what happens to love. In the poem Dickinson describes how the heart is swept up by love and love is put away and not used again until eternity. Funk and Wagnall?s dictionary describes eternity as ?The endless time following death.? Dickinson is trying to imply that love should be put away until you see that certain loved one again after death or a state of eternity. In the poem Dickinson states, ?The Sweeping up the Heart And putting Love away We shall not want to use again Until Eternity.? This signifies love after death. I feel that the meaning of pain doesn?t exist to Dickinson. In other words, pain has an element of blank or no meaning at all. Her focus on the structure of her poems avoids any experience or sensation of pain. She deals with death in a very calmly matter. Some of her poems make me wonder about her mental stability, but others make perfect sense in some weird sort of psychotic form. Overall, I think Dickinson is just trying to portray all of the hardships that she is going through in her life. Bibliography
Funk and Wagnall?s Standard Desk Dictionary(1989), Vol. 1, p. 217
Higginson, Thomas. Emily Dickinson And Poetry, Henry Holt and Company New York, 1975. page. 122
McPhee, John. American Poet,