Emily Dickinson

Amherst, Massachusetts

Emily Dickinson's education was only for a year at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, in South Hadley. But she did spend years at an academy where she studied English, classical literature, Latin, arithmetic, botany, geology, and history. She was not very a social person, but the people she did socialize with did have a big impact on her poetry.

Emily Dickinson is considered one of the greatest American poets. Her writing is considered modern and she wrote many lyrical poems. She did not tile her poems often, only about 10 of 1,800 of her poems were titled.

Part One: Life

’T IS so much joy! ’T is so much joy!

If I should fail, what poverty!
And yet, as poor as I
Have ventured all upon a throw;
Have gained! Yes! Hesitated so
5This side the victory!
Life is but life, and death but death!
Bliss is but bliss, and breath but breath!
And if, indeed, I fail,
At least to know the worst is sweet.
Defeat means nothing but defeat,
No drearier can prevail!
And if I gain,—oh, gun at sea,
Oh, bells that in the steeples be,
At first repeat it slow!
For heaven is a different thing
Conjectured, and waked sudden in,
And might o’erwhelm me so!