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***poetry/emily dickinson

birth date of emily dickinson:
december 10, 1830

date of death of emily dickinson:
may 15, 1886

how did emily die?
from bright’s disease – kidney failure

where did she live her whole life?
amherst, massachusetts

emily’s relationships with family?
dad – admired his “pure and terrible” heart, he encouraged her education (but not “crazy” books)
mother – “was never a mother”, became close with mother after she had a paralyzing stroke
older brother, austin: close, humor, learning, competetive
little sister, vinnie: close, shared secrets, protected privacy

dickinson’s educational journey:
went to amherst academy and then went to mount holyoke female seminary for only one year, returned home and educated herself

dickinson’s religious issue:
she felt pressured to join a church but felt doubt and eventually stopped going to church services

many of dickinson’s poems discuss/are about:
discuss death and it’s effects/process/etc., herself and her thoughts vs. people around her

when did emily begin writing poetry?
late teens/early 20s

what originally inspired her poems?
sufferings of loss, loneliness, and death

in what year did dickinson’s love move?
1862

who was dickinson’s love?
reverand charles wadsworth – an older married man who dickinson admired and loved

what happened with dickinson’s love and what resulted?
he moved to california and in that year emily wrote 366 poems and began to withdraw from the world

by middle age, dickinson:
stayed in her house/garden and maintained contact with family and friends privately, but she did make an alliance with the neighborhood children

what did emily ask vinnie to do once she died?
burn all of her correspondance from family and friends

emily’s poem publishing journey:
emily died, but vinnie found the poems and persisted to get them pusblished and four years after emily’s death the first volume of her poetry was published

how many poems did dickinson write?
1,775

while dickinson was alive, how many of her poems were published?
7

what does allen tate say about emily’s poems?
even though emily was reclusive, her poems reveal that her life was “one of the richest and deepest ever lived”

during emily’s lifetime, she was (poetry):
unknown

what did emily have difficulty with?
having no women’s rights

dickinson’s style:
odd, deep, incorrect spelling/grammar, random, remorse, unusual

death is considered what in emily’s poems?
as kind, polite, caring, “easy-going”.

tone
author’s attitude towards the subject

mood
how i feel when i read it

blank verse:
poem with rythm but no rhyme

free verse:
poem with no rhythm but rhyme

rhymed verse
poem with rhythm and rhyme

stanza form
a group of lines whose pattern is repeated throughout the poem

2 line stanza form
couplet

3 line stanza form
tercet

4 line stanza form
quatrain

5 line stanza form
quintet

6 line stanza form
sestet

7 line stanza form
septet

8 line stanza form
octave

14 line stanza form
sonnet

irregular number stanza form
blank or free

end rhyme
rhyme found at end of line

internal rhyme
middle word rhymes with end word in a line

beginning rhyme
first syllables of lines rhyme

masculine similarity of sound
rhyme of one syllable (house, mouse)

feminine similarity of sound
rhyme of more than one syllable (lightening, frightening)

imperfect rhyme
forced rhyme, looks like it would rhyme but it doesn’t (wind, kind)

iambic
. /

trochaic
/ .

anapestic
. . /

dactylic
/ . .

spondaic
// OR . .

caesura
internal pause in a line (-)

foot:
the smallest rhythmic unit in a line of poetry

meter:
the number of feet in a line of poetry

1 foot
monometer

2 feet
dimeter

3 feet
trimeter

4 feet
tetrameter

5 feet
pentameter

6 feet
hexameter

7 feet
heptameter

8 feet
octameter

simile
comparison using like, as, or than

metaphor
comparison without using like, as, or than

hyperbole
extreme exaggeration

conceit
metaphor throughout the entire poem

personification
goving human traits to a non human object

paradox
a contradictory statement that can make a point “war is kind”

pun
play on words

onomatopoeia
words that sound like their meaning

assonance
repetition of vowel sounds (a e i o u y) (have to make the same SOUND, not letter)

consonance
repetition of consonance sounds (have to make the same SOUND, not letter)

lyric poem
a short poem expressing thoughts of a speaker

poetry
rhythmic, compresses language using figures of speech to appeal to the emotions

usually unstressed hints:
articles of speech (a an the), prepositions, pronouns, conjuctions (but not yet so)

usually stressed hints:
one syllable nouns and verbs, 2 syllable words are stressed on first syllable, lines end in stressed syllable

anaphora:
the repetition at the beginning of a line in a poem/speech for effect

slant rhyme:
an imperfect rhyme, half rhyme, ends in same consonant or vowel sounds

***key aspects of dickinson’s work:
odd style, unusual imagery, untraditional meters, inexact rhymes, grammatical errors, slant formula = ABCB.

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