Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson's Life

Emily Dickinson was born in Massachusetts on December 10 1830. She attended Amherst Academy for seven years when she was younger and spent a short time at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary before returning to her family's house in Amherst.  Throughout her life she rarely left her home. The people she did come in contact with had a huge impact on her life and her poems. The first of her work was published in 1890 and the last of her work in 1955. Upon her death her family found 1,800 poems or "fascicles" as they are sometimes called. Many of Dickinson's poems were published after her death in 1886

Emily's poem: "Hope" is the thing with feather-

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -

That perches in the soul -

And sings the tune without the words -

And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -

And sore must be the storm -

That could abash the little Bird

That kept so many warm -


I’ve heard it in the chillest land

-And on the strangest Sea -

Yet - never - in Extremity,

It asked a crumb - of me.

Emily's poem; "Faith" is a fine invention

"Faith" is a fine invention
When Gentlemen can see—
But Microscopes are prudent

In an Emergency.

Why did you choose these poems?

I chose both of these poems because I think sometimes we all need hope and it is, at times like a feather, and the second poem is talking about faith. Both poems talk about something that I think we should all have, faith and hope.

What kind of rhythm and meter does the poem "Hope" is the thing with a feather use?

The poem uses the iambic trimeter and iambic tetrameter.

What kind of rhythm and meter does the poem "Faith" is a fine invention use?

The poem uses an iambic trimeter.

What is the theme of "Hope" is the thing with feathers

The theme of this poem is hope defeats. I think this is a universal theme that everyone can take away from this poem. If we have the slightest hope we can get through anything. She says in her poem "kept so many warm", referring to hope, hope is what kept so many warm.

What is the theme of the poem "Faith" is a fine invention?

The theme of this poem is the faith of a man. This poem is talking really about Emily's own views on religion. In her poem "see" is to believe in God, and "Microscope" refers to science.

Realism and American Romanticism:

-feelings and intuition are demonstrated in the poems

-good will triumph over evil aspect

-portrays life as it really is

-nature is beyond man's control

Connect these poems to something you have already read in class:

The theme faith of a man connects to the story Sinners at the hand of an angry God. In this story it talks about the faith of a group of people. The preacher is in a way scaring his audience in to believing what he wants them to.

The theme hope defeats sadness relates to the story "This is what it mean to say Phoenix Arizona." Thomas and Victor both hoped to return to Phoenix and eventually did get there to get things from Victor's dad's house.

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Emily Dickinson