Great Works Edit
A Bird Came Down
Success is counted sweetest
Civilopedia Entry Edit
Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born in December 1830 AD in Amherst to an old New England family; she was educated at Amherst Academy (now College), which her grandfather had founded. But she was of a ”delicate” nature, given to incapacitating bouts of “vapors,” such that although an excellent student she quit the academy in 1848. Some scholars have speculated that she suffered from agoraphobia, depression, and anxiety. She would spend the rest of her reclusive life on the family homestead, known locally as “The Homestead.”
Emily had begun writing as a teenager … since she didn’t have many friends, a natural outlet for all that repressed emotion. One friend she did have was Benjamin Newton, who introduced the impressionable young lady to the writing of William Wordsworth. Besides scribbling poetry and caring for her ever-ailing mother – neither Emily nor her sister Lavinia ever married, and lived at The Homestead until their deaths – the young lady maintained a voluminous correspondence with the likes of Newton, the minister Charles Wadsworth, Judge Otis Lord, and a few others.
After 1860, Emily rarely left the estate. It was during this period, through the death of Emily’s mother in 1882, that she filled dozens of notebooks with hundreds of poems, all without the family’s knowledge. Of the some 1800 poems she penned, fewer than a dozen were published during her lifetime – and those were altered by the heavy-handed editors because of her unconventional style. Dickinson’s poems were made up of short lines, slant rhyme, and “unacceptable” punctuation and capitalization. Emily died of kidney disease in 1886, and Lavinia discovered her notebooks. In 1890, the family published the first volume of her collected poems, establishing her as one of the great American poets.
|Great People of Civilization VI|
|Artist • Admiral • Engineer • General • Merchant • Musician • Prophet • Scientist • Writer|