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"I dwell in possibility..." Emily Dickenson Ecards
"I dwell in possibility..."

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Emily Dickinson Posters, Books, Video, Links for Learning
for language arts, literature and social studies classrooms, home schoolers and Dickinson scholars.

literature > authors list > EMILY DICKINSON < famous women < social studies

Emily Dickinson, America Writer, Giclee Print
Emily Dickinson,
American Writer,
Giclee Print

Emily Dickinson
b. 12-10-1830; Amherst, MA
d. 5-15-1886; Amherst (Bright's Disease)

Emily Dickinson, recognized today as one of the most original, gifted and prolific American poets, lead a reclusive life, and was thought of as eccentric by neighbors. As a young woman she had friends and a social life but was deeply affected by the deaths of friends and family. Emily is remembered best as dressed in white, seldom leaving her house and having few visitors - by the late 1860s she lived in almost total physical isolation from the outside world.

As the second daughter of the prominent family of Edward and Emily Norcross Dickinson, Emily was well educated. She first attended Amherst Academy studying “English and classical literature, Latin, botany, geology, history, ‘mental philosophy’, and arithmetic”. She then spent one year at Mary Lyon's Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in South Hadley, to returned home to spend the rest of her life reading widely and maintaining friendship with correspondence.

In 1862, at age 32, Dickinson wrote to Thomas Wentworth Higginson and enclosed four poems, asking his opinion. She left behind 1,775 poems, though less than a dozen were published in her lifetime. Her first volume of work was published posthumously in 1890 and the last in 1955.

Literature and Language Arts Posters

Emily Dickinson, Art Print
Emily Dickinson,
American Writer,
Art Print

“That it will never come again
Is what makes life so sweet.”
Bolts of Melody

Emily Dickinson was on the most original and gifted 19th-century poets. Yet just seven of her poems were published while she lived, all anonymously, and some against her wishes. Not until 1955 did a complete collection of her poetry appear. Emily spent her life in Amherst, Massachusetts. She rarely left town. And because she was quite shy, she knew very few people. As she grew older, she became even more reclusive, seldom seeing anyone but family. In 1862, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a well known critic, received four poems from Emily, seeking advice on her work. Higginson thought the poems were ... and very odd, his advice to her was not encouraging. But she continued to send him her work and continued to write poetry in the same unusual style. Although they often wrote, they met just twice. Higginson was said to remark that Emily's intense personality left his uncomfortably tired. “I was never with anyone who drained my nerve power so much,” he wrote. Indeed, she was intense. “If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire ever can warm me,” she wrote, “I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way?” The year 1862 seems to be when Emily wrote the most poetry. Also that year the man she loved but who did not love her left Amherst for San Francisco. She began to dress entirely in white about that time. During the last ten years of her life, she would not leave her house and garden at all. Emily Dickinson died in 1886 at age 56.

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Emily Dickinson Bio Timeline Poster
Emily Dickinson
American Authors
Bio Timeline Poster

Poster Text: Emily Dickinson was an extemely prolific writer and poet. Her use of deceptively simple lyrics, dashes, sporadic capitalization, off rhymes, and unconventional metaphors have all contributed to ther reputation as one of the greatest – and most innovative – poets of 19th-century American literature.

I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there's a pair of us?
Don't tell! they'd advertise – you know!

How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one's name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog! -

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Lyric Poetry Form
Lyric Poetry Form


I heard a fly buzz when I died;
The stillness round my form
Was like the stillness in the air
Between the heaves of storm.

The eyes beside had wrung them dry,
And breaths were gathering sure
For that last onset, when the king
Be witnessed in his power.

I willed my keepsakes, signed away
What portion of me I
Could make assignable,-and then
There interposed a fly,

With blue, uncertain, stumbling buzz,
Between the light and me;
And then the windows failed, and then
I could not see to see.

Dwell in Possibility Emily Dickinson, Art Print
Dwell in Possibility Emily Dickinson
Art Print

I dwell in Possibility—
A fairer House than Prose—
More numerous of Windows—
Superior—for Doors—

Of Chambers as the Cedars—
Impregnable of Eye—
And for an Everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky—

Of Visitors—the fairest—
For Occupation—This—
The spreading wide of narrow Hands
To gather Paradise—

Emily Dickinson

Silence: Saying Nothing Sometimes Says Most -  Emily Dickinson, Giclee Print
Silence: Saying Nothing Sometimes Says Most - Emily Dickinson,
Giclee Print

Silence: Saying Nothing Sometimes Says Most
Emily Dickinson

Famous Women Writers Composite Poster
Famous Women Writers Composite Poster

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Emily Dickinson Quotes ~

• “To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.”

• “Love can do all but raise the dead.”

• “You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a dog as large as myself that my father bought me. They are better than human beings, because they know but do not tell.”

• “I hope you love birds too. It is economical. It saves going to heaven.”

Read more about Emily Dickinson.

The Life of Emily Dickinson by Richard Sewell - Winner of the National Book Award, this massively detailed biography throws a light into the study of the brilliant poet. How did Emily Dickinson, from the small window over her desk, come to see a life that included the horror, exaltation and humor that lives her poetry? With abundance and impartiality, Sewall shows us not just the poet nor the poetry, but the woman and her life.

White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Brenda Wineapple - White Heat is the first book to portray the remarkable relationship between America's most beloved poet and the fiery abolitionist who first brought her work to the public.
As the Civil War raged, an unlikely friendship was born between the reclusive poet Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a literary figure who ran guns to Kansas and commanded the first Union regiment of black soldiers. When Dickinson sent Higginson four of her poems he realized he had encountered a wholly original genius; their intense correspondence continued for the next quarter century. In White Heat Brenda Wineapple tells an extraordinary story about poetry, politics, and love, one that sheds new light on her subjects and on the roiling America they shared. (book description)

The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, editor Thomas H. Johnson - complete oeuvre--all 1,775 poems--available in its original form, uncorrupted by editorial revision, in one volume. Thomas H. Johnson, a longtime Dickinson scholar, arranged the poems in chronological order as far as could be ascertained (the dates for more than 100 are unknown). This organization allows a wide-angle view of Dickinson’s poetic development, from the sometimes-clunky rhyme schemes of her juvenilia, including valentines she wrote in the early 1850s, to the gloomy, hell-obsessed writings from her last years.

Emily by Michael Bedard - A young girl who lives across the street from the reclusive Emily Dickinson gets her chance to meet the poet when her mother is invited to play the piano for Emily. The girl sneaks up to Emily’s room and exchanges a small gift for an authentic poem, which is included in the book. Based on historic research, great intro to Emily for young children, ages 4-8.

Voices and Vision: Emily Dickinson video - This film illuminates the passionate genius of this unconventional recluse, recreating her environment, with commentary by Adrienne Rich, Joyce Carol Oates and others.


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