Emily Dickenson — One Of Our Greatest Poets

emily-dickinsonEmily Elizabeth Dickinson is often referred to as one of the most influential American Poets. She was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, on December 10, 1830 and died in 1886 from what was called Bright’s disease (an ailment of the kidneys now called nephritis). She grew up surrounded by the influence of Transcendentalism, living near and reading the works of Ralph Waldo EmersonHenry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman. Nevertheless she lived a mostly introverted and reclusive life and created her own brand of poetry. And although she wrote prolifically, she only published seven poems during her lifetime. Four years after her death her poems were published and met with stunning success. She is known for her unusual use of form and syntax (also, many of her poems do not have titles). For me it is the power of her poems and the consistency of her voice that intrigues. Reading her poems out loud, slowly and with emphasis will show you a new side of both poetry and, I daresay, life.

If you explore her poems you will come across many beautiful, popular examples, but here are a couple of her more obscure works that show off her power and energy:


Dare you see a Soul at the White Heat?
Then crouch within the door—
Red—is the Fire’s common tint—
But when the vivid Ore

Has vanquished Flame’s conditions,
It quivers from the Forge
Without a color, but the light
Of unanointed Blaze.

Least Village has its Blacksmith
Whose Anvil’s even ring
Stands symbol for the finer Forge
That soundless tugs—within—

Refining these impatient Ores
With Hammer, and with Blaze
Until the Designated Light
Repudiate the Forge—


A Route of Evanescence (1489)

A Route of Evanescence
With a revolving Wheel —
A Resonance of Emerald —
A Rush of Cochineal —
And every Blossom on the Bush
Adjusts its tumbled Head —
The mail from Tunis, probably,
An easy Morning’s Ride —

About MWycombe

Webmaster for Napa Valley Writers
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