Why She’s Amazing

Emily Dickinson didn’t want to be a princess. She wanted to be more.

Emily needed nothing more than a pen and some paper to become who she wanted to be. Her unique poetry style, with an emphasis on using dashes, earned her accolades as one of the greatest American Poets of all time. In addition, she was inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame in 1973.

By the time of her death in 1886, 53-year-old Emily had written approximately 1,800 poems. Although most of these poems were published after her death, Emily’s writing helped to shape the poetry of the late 20th century.

Today, her poems are shining examples of the finest poetry and are taught in literature classes worldwide. Her unique style and messages have captured the minds of scholars and readers alike. She also inspired generations of writers to dream and express themselves through words.

“Fortune befriends the bold.” – Emily Dickinson

Her Determination

Emily discovered her love of writing when she was just a teen. This love only grew when she was introduced to the poetry of William Wordsworth. She found herself enthralled with the way the words could convey a deep meaning and yet be so simple.

Unfortunately, Emily’s parents, especially her father, didn’t support her writing aspirations. They would have preferred if she had focused on getting married, something Emily didn’t oppose but also didn’t think was of the utmost importance.

As a result, most of her writing was done on her own, in her bedroom. She kept most of her work private, but would share small lines and, on occasion, small portions of her poems with friends. Writing was the one thing she wanted to do, and her friends supported that aspiration.

A True Inspiration

Emily didn’t write for fame; rather, she used poetry as a form of self-expression. She preferred time alone at home to social events. Emily used the act of writing a poem as a way to share her experiences and feelings, and she was quoted as saying, “I dwell in possibility.” For Emily, there was no greater joy than to write.

Emily also did not concern herself with what others thought about her. She lived her life not to please others, but to make herself happy.

Writing poetry was Emily’s passion, and she brought that to every aspect of her life. To Dickinson, what the world thought of her poems didn’t matter. What mattered was sharing her passion with her friends, those who helped to make her strong.

Fun Facts:

  • Emily’s unique style of using dashes in her poetry was a way she expressed her freedom through writing.
  • Emily made some of her own clothes.
  • Approximately 1,000 of Emily’s poems were written in six years, between 1858-1864.
  • Thomas Wentworth Higginson was a friend of Emily’s and, a writer himself, who recognized the genius in her poems and writing style.
  • Emily’s sister, Lavinia, found her poems in her room and published them after her death.