Emily Dickinson's world was her father's home and garden in a small New England town. She lived most of her life within this private world. Her romantic visions and emotional intensity kept her from making all but a few friends. Because of this life of solitude, she was able to focus on her world more sharply than other authors of her time were. Her poems, carefully tied in packets, were discovered only after she had died. They reveal an unusual awareness of herself and her world, a shy but determined mind. Every poem was like a tiny micro-chasm that testified to Dickinson's life as a recluse.
Dickinson's lack of rhyme and regular meter and her use of ellipsis and compression were unimportant as long as her poetry was encouraged by it. Although some find her poetry to be incomprehensible, illiterate, and uneducated, most find that her irregular poetic form are her original attempts at liberating American poetry from a stale heritage. Her poetry was the precursor to the modern spirit with the influence of transcendentalism not puritanism. Her treatment of Death and profound metaphysical tendencies were part of the singular nature of her genius. Emily's simple language draws rich meanings from common words. The imagery and metaphors in her poetry are taken from her observations of nature and her imagination.
She approached her poetry inductively, combining words to arrive at a conclusion the pattern of words suggested, rather than starting with a specific theme or message. Her use of certain words resulted in one not being able to grasp her poetry with only one reading. She paid minute attention to things that nobody else noticed in the universe." She was obsessed with death and its consequences especially the idea of eternity. She once said, "Does not Eternity appear dreadful to you... I often get thinking of it and it seems so dark to me that I almost wish there was no Eternity. To think that we must forever...
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