The Mystery of Emily Dickinson

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The Mystery of Emily Dickinson

Post  Emily Y on Fri May 15, 2009 12:31 am

Emily Dickinson is a mystery because she cannot be strictly labeled as a Transcendentalist or Anti-Transcendentalist, although she seems to lean more to the feeling of a Transcendentalist. She focuses on many Transcendentalist subjects in her poems. In many poems she concentrates on spirituality and religion. She is a believer of God and often mentions Heaven and church. Another reason why I would classify her more as a Transcendentalist is because her view towards death reminds of William Cullen Bryant’s poem “Thanatopsis.” Both poets looked at death as a necessity of life and their tone is lighter. They seem to be reassuring us that death is not as scary as most people think it is. Emily Dickinson’s usual tone is also lighter and more care-free than that of Melville or Hawthorne. She seems much more optimistic about life, looking forward to what is has in store for her, which is a common feeling that the other Transcendentalist authors give me.

The way Emily Dickinson chose to live her life and the spirit of her poems are almost contradictory. However, the choice she made to live a reclusive life does not make her an Anti-Transcendentalist. Not all Anti-Transcendentalists isolate themselves and not all Transcendentalists choose to physically embrace life and are involved socially. Her reluctance to publish her poems may be due to the fact that her poems were extremely personal; a Transcendentalist view of exploring into the depths of our inner being.
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Re: The Mystery of Emily Dickinson

Post  Fionaaa :) on Fri May 15, 2009 2:56 am

Great connection between William Cullen Bryant’s poem “Thanatopsis” and Emily Dickinson's view on death. I would have never synthesized those two together by myself.
Dickinson writes about death and the rest that comes after it because she has encountered much death throughout her life.

Her reluctance to publish her poems may be due to the fact that her poems were extremely personal; a Transcendentalist view of exploring into the depths of our inner being.
ohhh nice explanation. this is one of my central questions - why doesn't she want to publish her poems? I cited the reason as a lack of self-reliance, but you have provided a new POV. thanks ;]
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