Emily Dickinson

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The Poet Who Watched the World Through Her Window

Brionna Gardenhire

9th Grade Honors Literature
Mr. Phillip Grabowskii
November 13, 2012

Emily Dickinson was born on December 10, 1830, in Amherst, Massachusetts. She was the oldest daughter of Edward Dickinson, a successful lawyer, member of Congress, and for many years treasurer of Amherst College, and of Emily Norcross Dickinson, a timid woman. Lavinia, Dickinson’s sister, described Emily as "perfectly well & contented—She is a very good child & but little trouble." (Sewall 324) She was graduated from Amherst Academy in 1847, which was founded by her grandfather, Samuel Dickinson (Sewall, 337, Wolff, 19–21). She attended Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in South Hadley in
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This period is known as her most prolific period of writing. She also underwent treatments for a painful eye condition, now thought to be iritis, with Boston ophthalmologist Henry W. Williams. While under the doctor's care (eight months in 1864, six months in 1865), she boarded with her cousins, Frances and Louisa Norcross. Those trips were to be her last out of Amherst; after her return in 1865, she rarely ventured beyond the grounds of the Homestead. In 1865, the Civil War ended, but Emily Dickinson never wrote specifically and “realistically” about the Civil War. She did however; write to Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson in February 1963 describing the war as “an oblique place”. The years of the Civil War corresponded to Dickinson’s most intense period of productivity as a poet, during which she is thought to have written roughly half of her total number of poems, and yet her precise relation to the war remains something of a puzzle. Because Dickinson is known to have a range of possible references when writing, it is difficult to say whether a particular poem was inspired by the war. Her poem “It feels a shame to be Alive-“could be about the war, but it could be a reference to one of the first letters she wrote to Thomas Higginson asking if her verse was alive. In another letter to Higginson from the winter of 1863, Dickinson included the lines from another

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