Emily Dickinson: A Romantic Poet
Emily Dickinson stands out as a key poet. She is a poet who continues to exert an enormous influence on the way writers think about the possibilities of poetic craft and vocation.
She explores a wide range of subjects: psychic pain and joy, the relationship of self to nature, the intensely spiritual, and the intensely oridnary.
Her poems about death confront its grim reality with honesty, humore, curiosity, and above all a refusal to be comforted.
In her poems about religions, she expressed piety and hostility, and she was fully capable of moving wihtin the same poem religious consolation to a rejection of doctrinal piety and a querying of God's plans for the universe. (Baym, 2007)
Dickinson wrote lyric poems about everything she considered worthy of thought: music, nature, religion, science, society, world events, and other literature. Sadly, it was only posthumously that most of her poems were published.
Dickinson's life was beset with death and dying. Her dear father died unexpectedly in 1874, and shortly thereafter, her mother suffered a stroke and was bedridden until her death in 1882.
Dickinson also faced the losses of her young nephew Gilbert in 1883 and a very close friend, Helen Hunt Jackson, in 1885.
This quick succession of death and loss may have contributed to Dickinson's reclusion during these years, but it did not stop her from writing. It was during that time that Dickinson wrote a number of poems dealing with death, and she wrote her poetry in solitude until her own demise in 1886.