Tonight, we’ll read selected poems from Emily Dickinson, starting with a collection about nature.
Little-known during her life, Dickinson has since been regarded as one of the most important figures in American poetry.
Evidence suggests that Dickinson lived much of her life in isolation. Considered an eccentric by locals, she developed a penchant for white clothing and was known for her reluctance to even leave her bedroom. Dickinson never married, and most friendships between her and others depended entirely upon correspondence.
Her poems were unique for her era. They contain short lines, typically lack titles, and often use slant rhyme as well as unconventional capitalization and punctuation. In early editions, including this one, Emily Dickinson's poems were edited by her friends, better to fit the conventions of the times. Thus some of the uniqueness is best understood by viewing her direct handwriting on the page, or by reading more recent editions.