Emily Dickinson

(1830-1886)

 

"I dwell in Possibility -

A fairer House than Prose - "

 

Born in Amherst, MA, Emily Dickinson spent all of her days in the area. The latter portion of her life is characterized by a high degree of privacy and seclusion. She lived in her parents' home, and she rarely, if ever, left the house or accepted visitors.

An enigma even during her lifetime, her poetry spans themes of science and religion, nature and time, and intimate human relations.

She died of a kidney disorder at age 56, leaving behind an incredible poetic legacy.

About

The Unediting Project

I created this website for Professor Jim Dawes's 19th Century American Literature course at Macalester College. When we read Emily Dickinson in our Norton Anthology for the class, I was troubled to learn that the collection of poems is not actually true to the way in which she wrote them. I could not understand why no editor had chosen to leave her poems in their natural state, with her multiple word options. I hope that this project will allow future American Literature students to read Emily Dickinson's poetry with a better sense of her written voice.

References

  • Baym, Nina. The Norton Anthology of American Literature.7th Ed. B. New York: W W Norton & Co Inc, 2007.
  • Franklin, R.W, ed. The Manuscript Books of Emily Dickinson. Vol 1-2. Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1981.

Special Thanks

I would like to thank my sister Sophie for helping me with some of the coding on my very first website attempt, as well as my roommate Madison for staying up late with me trying to decipher parts of the handwritten manuscripts. And of course, I must thank Emily Dickinson herself for her unique poetic vision and the incredible body of work she left behind.

This project is dedicated to my grandmother, Ethel Evangeline Smith Canade, a poet who always loved the artistic words of her distant relative, Emily Dickinson.