Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886) was a prolific American poet whose poems weren’t published during her lifetime. She rarely left her home or native town of Amherst, Massachusetts; any notoriety she achieved among her townspeople wasn’t for her writing but as an eccentric recluse. Despite the fact that she lived a rather secluded life, her poetry reveals a deep understanding of love, loneliness, the natural world, and human nature in all its glory and sadness.

She was a writer that did not produce work in order to publish, to make money and gain fame; she cared only to share her thoughts and writings with those close to her.  After her death, about 1,800 poems were discovered by her family, tied loosely into several bundles. and against her wish of having them burned, they were instead edited and published. It wasn’t until the twentieth century that Dickinson was given her due as a great poet. Today, it’s hard to argue that she is also one of the most beloved.

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Emily Dickinson Quotes

Emily Dickinson“If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way?” (Selected Letters)

“Forever is composed of nows.”

“A wounded dear leaps the highest.”

“A word is dead when it’s been said, some say. I say it just begins to live that day.” 

“PHOSPHORESCENCE. Now there’s a word to lift your hat to … to find that phosphorescence, that light within, that’s the genius behind poetry.”

“Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotion know what it means to want to escape from these.”

“But a book is only the heart’s portrait- every page a pulse.

“That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet.”

“Where thou art, that is home.”

“Love is like life merely longer.”

“Dwell in possibility.”

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