Emily Dickinson – American poet
Emily Dickinson was one of America’s greatest poets. She wrote about 2,000 poems, but only four were published in her lifetime. Her work was different from what other poets wrote. Dickinson became famous after her death.
Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born on December 10, 1830 in Amherst, Massachusetts into a rich and well-known family. Her father, Edward Dickinson, was a lawyer and a politician, a US Congressman. Emily was the middle of three children: her brother William Austin was a year older than her, and sister Lavinia was three years younger. The house, where Emily was born, is now the Memorial Museum. Emily was shy and quiet. She read, worked in the garden, and wrote poetry.
Dickinson graduated from Amherst Academy in 1847.
When she was 28, something happened. Dickinson was very upset. No one knows why. Some people say she loved a married man. Others say she was unhappy because nobody wanted to publish her poetry. She continued to write anyway.
For the last 16 years of her life, she never left her home. The curtains were always dosed. She dressed only in white. One day Dickinson became ill, but she did not let the doctor in her room. He could only see her from the doorway.
Dickinson died on May 15, 1886 at the age of 55. Her sister, Lavinia, found her poems, and they were finally published. The book with her poems was published in 1890, four years after Emily died.
Most of her poems are about familiar things such as love and friendship, nature and death. But her rhymes are often not quite exact, and some of her poems are like a puzzle.
Her poems attracted many composers, including Samuel Barber, Elliott Carter, Aaron Copland, Andre Previn, Michael Tilson Thomas, Ned Rorem, Osvaldo Golijov, Victoria Field, Mylene Farmer.