The Influence Of Personal Experiences In Emily Dickinsons Poetry

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The Influence of Personal Experiences In Emily Dickinson's Poetry

     None of Emily Dickinson's readers has met the woman who lived and died in Amherst, Massachusetts more than a century ago, yet most of those same readers feel as if they know her closely. Her reclusive life made understanding her quite difficult. However, taking a close look at her verses, one can learn a great deal about this remarkable woman. The poetry of Emily Dickinson delves deep into her mind, exposing her personal experiences and their influence on her thoughts about religion, love, and death. By examining her life some, and reading her poetry in a certain light, one can see an obvious autobiographical
connection.
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     No quandary in life presented Emily Dickinson with such wrenching choices as the demand for conversion. Her doubts tempted her to rebel against
God, but her needs drove her toward faith in Him. Neither stance could overcome the other, and neither could be reconciled. Emotionally, she lacked a direction of beliefs, however there was one thing she was sure of - God existed. “Reason convinced her that there must be such a Being as God; and as to God's existence she seems never to have wavered” (Wolff 84). Believing that He was there only gave her something solid to forsake. In a letter to her friend once she wrote, “
...and I am standing alone in rebellion, and growing very careless...” (Sewall
375). However, it was only when she had achieved complete poetic independence that she could confidently write in open defiance of God:          
     I reckon - when I count at all -

          First - Poets - Then the Sun
          Then Summer - Then the Heaven of God -
          And then - the List is done -
           But, looking back - the First so seems