Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Hope - Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson was born December 10, 1830 in Amherst, Massachusetts to a successful family with strong community ties, she lived a mostly introverted and reclusive life. She was a prolific private poet, choosing to publish fewer than a dozen of her nearly eighteen hundred poems. The work that was published during her lifetime was usually altered significantly by the publishers to fit the conventional poetic rules of the time. Dickinson's poems are unique for the era in which she wrote; they contain short lines, typically lack titles, and often utilize slant rhyme as well as unconventional capitalization and punctuation. Her poems also tend to deal with themes of death and immortality, two subjects which infused her letters to friends.
She died on May 15, 1886.

Despite her prolific writing, fewer than a dozen of her poems were published during her lifetime. After her younger sister Vinnie discovered the collection of nearly eighteen hundred poems, Dickinson's first volume was published four years after her death. Until the 1955 publication of Dickinson's Complete Poems by Thomas H. Johnson, her poetry was considerably edited and altered from their manuscript versions. Since 1890 Dickinson has remained continuously in print.

See Wikipedia for more information on her life and works.

'Hope' is the fourth part of a longer poem called 'Life.' It was written around 1861. It is an extended metaphor using a bird for Hope. Why not download the poster of the poem and frame or laminate it for your waiting room or staffroom? You order The Complete Poems by Emily Dickinson published by Faber from Amazon and all good bookshops.

Here is a good analysis of the poem, Hope.

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