Emily Dickinson was born on December 10, 1830 in Amherst, Massachusetts. It was during her teens that Dickinson started writing. A lot of her writing was done in the solitude of her bedroom. Much of her life was spent on the family's homestead, as Dickson was not one to go out a lot. While she remained reclusive, she did keep correspondence by sending letters to various people she met.
Some of her reclusive behavior was due to being a caretaker of her mother from the mid-1850s to 1882. It was during this time that Dickinson accomplished a lot of writing. Her most intense writing period lasted 7 years, from 1858-1865. By the end of this writing period she composed 1,100 poems.
The first volume of poetry was not published until 1890, four years after her death. Lavinia Dickinson, Emily's sister, was the one to find all the notebooks filled with poetry. A full compilation, Poems of Emily Dickinson, wasn't published until 1955.
As with many writers, Dickinson's own experiences played a key role in providing inspiration for her pieces. Her poems examine themes such as love, joy, pain, grief, nature, and art. She was also influenced by poets of seventeenth-century England, reading the Book of Revelation, and her upbringing in Amherst, which was a puritan town.
She passed away on May 15, 1886 from kidney disease.
Emily Dickinson is considered one of the most important and well known American poets. Many of her poems are studied in English classes across the country.
7 Interesting Facts about Emily Dickinson:
- Her grandfather, Samuel Dickinson, was the founder of Amherst College.
- In her spare time, Dickinson studied botany and compiled a collection of preserved plants, which is called a herbarium.
- The homestead where she lived is now a museum.
- She was not publicly recognized during her lifetime.
- Less than a dozen of her poems were published during Dickinson's lifetime, and many of them were published without her consent.
- She wrote nearly 1,800 poems in her lifetime. Eight hundred of these poems filled forty booklets that she made. They are now referred to as "fascicles".
- Dickinson never married, but she had many close male friends.