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The Mystery of Pain -Emily Dickinson

military force the next morningOctober 30, 1859: Henry David Thoreau delivers to thecitizens of Concord1859: developsinterest in kindergartens; she publishes on this topic, the last book in 1886December2, 1859: John Brown, after conviction for murder, slave insurrection andtreason, hanged in Charles Town, Virginia (now in West Virginia)May 10, 1860: dies inFlorence, Italy1861: writes "Battle Hymnof the Republic" after visiting an army camp near Washington, D.C.February,1862: publishes "BattleHymn of the Republic" in April 15, 1862: Emily Dickinson writes to Thomas Wentworth Higginson, asking forhis opinion of several of her poemsMay 6, 1862: dies in ConcordOctober 3, 1863: diesMay 19, 1864: dies inPlymouth, New Hampshire1865: Thoreau's published posthumously1871: travels to California, meets John MuirJuly 24, 1874: 's home burnsJanuary 9, 1876: diesin Boston1880: publishes

Emily Dickinson: Transcendentalist Experience Through Imagination The early 19th century ideas of transcendentalism, which were introducedby Ralph Emerson and David Thoreau, where man as an individual becomesspiritually consumed with nature and himself through experience are contrastedby Emily Dickinson, who chose to branch off this path by showing that atranscendentalist experience could be achieved through imagination alone. Thesethree monumental writers set the boundaries for this new realm of thought. Although these writers ideas were not similar, they all followed the simple ideathat "the universe is composed of Nature and the Soul" . The male perspectiveseen through the works of Thoreau and Emerson, where nature "refers to essencesunchanged by man; the air, the river, the leaf" , is revised and satirized byDickinson's statement that "Of all the Souls that stand create-, I have elected-One" . Dickinson's works were meant to taunt society by showing how a woman, ironically trapped in her "natural" surroundings of the home, could obtain asmuch power, if not more than any male writer. This ironic revisions of ideas isdirected at all male transcendentalists and figures in society. Both Ralph Emerson and David Thoreau used societies stereotype of thetrue male environment, "nature", to draw their power and write from theirexperiences. Experience was the most important factor to these writers. Theability "to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account in my nextexcursion" was the basis of all their writings. "To get the whole and genuinemeanness of it, and publish its meanness to the whole world" was their goalbehind all their writings.

Ryan Sheffield: Inspirational Women of Writing (PHOTOS) Emily Dickinson

Letters prepared and created an audience for her poetry."

Whitman is clearly a poet with a lot to say, or at least with a lot of different ways to say it.

Whatever the cause of suffering, the poems of Emily Dickinson give ample evidence that she had a capacity for experiencing suffering far beyond that of the ordinary person.…

The second and probably more significant direction taken by her intense emotional and imaginative nature is a thorough awareness of the suffering in life. Suffering seemed to be a basic, unavoidable element of human life, and this fact weighed heavily on a person as capable of profound feeling as Emily Dickinson.…

in writing Higginson, she made a crucial move for herself as a poet.

One can conclude from the evidence in her poems that Emily Dickinson’s emotional and imaginative life was developed to an amazing extent. Joyous ecstasy and the antithetic bleak despair—not to mention the other shades of emotional feeling for which she is noted—possessed her life and gave to it a direction which resulted in a dedication to poetry.

It is his cry for democracy, giving each of us a voice through his poetry.

This poem is written for his wife and is essentially saying goodbye as he is leaving her 'physically' but arguing that she mustn't be sad of his departure and instead arguing that they are not really parting and each verse is a different 'image' or argument...

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This can make Whitman's poetry a little confusing to some.


She had written hundreds of poems.

Although a handful of cikincon's poems were published during her lifetime-some with, most probably without her permission-she did not try seriously for acceptance again.

Two editors had already inquired about her poems.

"Whyshould we be in such desperate haste to succeed, and in such desperateenterprises" ? Thoreau was much more concerned with his experiences around him. Nature, for him, was a renewal of the soul, where he could confide in. Thoreauwas also critical of mans progress, becoming more and more machine like. "Mostof the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only notindispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind" .Simplicity was the only way Thoreau found hid way back to the true "nature" ofman. He viewed his life as a man who "does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer" , and no one could challengethat or take that away from him. All of his power was drawn from "nature", thenature of a true man, where he could transcend to any point and become anythingthat he wanted. In contrast to these two male writers, Emily Dickinson proved thattranscendentalism can be achieved with out the element of experience, but ratherjust using imagination and the power of intellect to accomplish her goals.

The use of symbolism throughout the poem.

The power which Dickinson writes with all comes from her body within. "The brain-is wider than the sky" , and Dickinson proved it through her writings. She wrote about first hand experiences that she never had, transcendentalistexperiences, from the inside of her home. There was no Walden Pond toexperience nature, and there was no sunset to watch, all there was for her, wasthe corners of the ceiling of her house. How ever, with the power ofimagination behind her, Dickinson could transcend to anywhere she wanted, andshe experienced anything she wanted. Dickinson used her writing, and "solitude"from society, to enable her to "Soul selects her own Society" .

Bertonneau - from Anthropoetics

Here, for the first time in her life, Dickinson separates her artistic concerns from her emotional involvements and attempts to test the response to her poetry of a reader who was personally unknown to her but professionally well established.

The tone at the very beginning of this poem seems a bit youthful.

“This Is My Letter to the World” is a lyric written in two quatrains, or four-line verses, arranged in alternating lines of eight and six iambic syllables, the so-called common meter of the English hymns Dickinson knew from childhood. The uncomplicated syllabic and rhyme systems of common meter allowed Dickinson to showcase the power of language without distraction, and more than half of her published poems employ this traditional hymn form.

His direct poetic style shocked many of his contemporaries.

Emily Dickinson may be one of the few poets we read today who seems to resist her historical context, yet for that same reason she is one of the most personally accessible. With some poets, our full understanding of their work depends heavily upon our understanding of the historical and cultural context surrounding it before each line can expand like thin sponges dipped in water. Our understanding of Allen Ginsberg’s poem “Howl,” for example, grows as we learn about the conservative political environment of America in the 1950s; similarly, our reading of Gwendolyn Brooks is informed greatly by our understanding of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.

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