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Poetry Friday: Emily Dickinson woman of mystery


Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson

Oscar Wilde observed that “as soon as you understand a great work of art, it dies for you.

I think that’s one of the charms of Emily Dickinson’s poetry. It’s like a puzzle. You can put a lot of the pieces together, but some don’t seem to fit. A word or description is unusual, or a poem’s meter or rhyme is off. Is the puzzle defective or was this the author’s plan and we just don’t get it?

We don’t know. Emily Dickinson, the “Belle of Amherst,” died in 1886 at the age of 55. At that time only a handful of her works had been published. A seemingly modest country girl, she never married and became a recluse. After her death, her sister found hundreds of her poems as well as several letters she wrote (and likely did not send) to an unknown “master.” Perhaps an unrequited love? Read more…

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