Online Texts for Craig White's Literature Courses

  • Not a critical or scholarly text but a reading text for a seminar

  • Gratefully adapted from various web sources

Emily Dickinson

Selected Poetry

Emily Dickinson (1830-86)
(daguerrotype taken app. 1846)

Questions: 1. Dickinson's poetry can seem to operate in a timeless realm, but how may it reflect its time-period of late Romanticism, bordering on early Realism?

2. What characteristics of Dickinson's style? Or, how can you tell this is a poem by Emily Dickinson?

3. Compare this poem's form as "free verse" or "formal verse" with poems by Poe and Whitman (and other poems by Dickinson). (Comparative Study of Poe, Whitman, Dickinson)

[1.1]    Wild nights Wild nights!
[1.2]    Were I with thee,
[1.3]    Wild nights should be
[1.4]    Our luxury!

[2.1]    Futile the winds
[2.2]    To a Heart in port
[2.3]    Done with the compass
[2.4]    Done with the chart

[3.1]    Rowing in Eden
[3.2]    Ah the Sea!
[3.3]    Might I but moor tonight
[3.4]    In thee!

Dickinson's handwritten manuscript for "[Wild Nights!]"




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