Emily Dickinson is rightly considered by many researchers the second (after Walt Whitman) soul of American poetry. For her relatively short life she wrote more than 1,700 poems and most of them one way or another affect the theme of death. Interestingly, the word dead and death can be found in her lyrical works in the aggregate of more than 200 times. In addition, there are numerous poems, where death is not called directly.
Such interest (in many ways) was the result of a meaningful impact of philosophical principles of Puritanism on the philosophy of the poet, which was an integral part of the culture of New England, where Dickinson lived. In addition to the influence of the philosophical and religious conceptions of the era, preoccupation with the theme of death and the question of the existence of immortality has been called by a number of more specific events and factors. When Dickinson was a teenager her fifteen year-old friend died. Dickinson also grieved the death of her parents, especially her father (she could not even go to the funeral and memorial service). That is why there are a lot of poems dedicated to the death of the poet’s loved ones and they are filled with a sense of bitterness and regret.
Dickinson didn’t name hew works, so today it is accepted to use the numbering according to the classic edition, edited by Thomas H. Johnson The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson.
As we’ve found out many Dickinson’s poems have similarities, but let’s look at two of them closely. For example, poem 99 (New fingers stir the sod) and the poem 12 (The morns are meeker than they were).
In both poems we can see that the end of life not always terrifies Dickinson. She quietly tells about the transitory nature of human existence. Even at an early stage of creativity poet spoke of the need of humble expectation of the end of life.
The inevitable end of life is a testimony of irreversible and inscrutable nature of the course to the poet (due to this in a number of her works we can trace the images of death and decay in nature).
In both poems there is a parallel between the natural world and the human world. Poet attributed behavior and traits to natural phenomena, all the characteristics that are inherent in the people. It turns out that the behavior of people is just a reflection of the laws of nature, followed by each of its particles. All the changes that occur in nature in the autumn are the evidence of the coming winter, and the desire of the lyrical heroine follow these trends shows her thoughts of death.
In the 12th poem, the poetess draws a contrast between the temporality of human life and the endless cycle of the seasons.
Emily Dickinson is rightly considered by many researchers the second (after Walt Whitman) soul of American poetry. For her relatively short life she wrote more than 1,700 poems and most of them one way or another affect the theme of death. Interestingly, the word dead and death can be found in her lyrical works in the aggregate of more than 200 times.