The Themes of Emily Dickinson's Poetry

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The Themes of Emily Dickinson's Poetry

By | March 2006
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The Themes of Emily Dickinson's Poetry
Emily Dickinson was a great American poet who has had a lasting effect on poetry, yet she was a very complicated poet in the 1860's to understand, because of her thought patterns. Dickinson wrote from life experiences and her deepest thoughts. She wrote for herself as a way of letting out her feelings. Dickinson Wrote 1,775 hundred poems but only published seven in her life time because she did not write poetry for publishing. In fact, Emily Dickinson left a letter to her family telling them to destroy the stack of poems that she had written after her death (Kinsella,et al. 418). Dickinson's way of writing was very unique and different; she was definitely a poet before her time. She had a deep love of poetry and was inspired by great women writers of the 1850's when her father passed away. By 1860, Dickinson experienced a huge breakthrough in her writing; most suspected that it was because of a tragic end to a love affair (Ruby and Milne,eds. 8: 127). Dickinson's most popular themes were love, nature, alienation and loneliness and death, which were influenced by her very private and isolated lifestyle.

Dickinson was a very passionate poet and wrote with intensity about all of her themes, but in the theme love, Dickinson was the most emotional and earnest. The theme of love was a subject of pain and heartache for her. She would write about passion she could not have and the prior love affairs and the men she longed for but could not attain. This longing and pain usually turned into self-pity in her poems. Dickinson's most famous love poem, "I cannot live with you," is a perfect example of longing for love and self-pity. In the poem the speaker is describing different lives she and her lover cannot share together. The couple can't live in the world together, they can't die together, they can't rise after death together, and they can't be judged by God together. The couple can only remain apart and communicate through the...

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