December 10, 1830-May 15, 1886
Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts at the Homestead on December 10, 1830. Her quiet life was infused with a creative energy that produced almost 1800 poems and a profusion of vibrant letters.
Her lively Childhood and Youth were filled with schooling, reading, explorations of nature, religious activities, significant friendships, and several key encounters with poetry. Her most intense Writing Years consumed the decade of her late 20s and early 30s; during that time she composed almost 1100 poems. She made few attempts to publish her work, choosing instead to share them privately with family and friends. In her Later Years Dickinson increasingly withdrew from public life. Her garden, her family (especially her brother’s family at The Evergreens) and close friends, and health concerns occupied her.
With a few exceptions, her poetry remained virtually unpublished until after she died on May 15, 1886. After her death, her poems and life story were brought to the attention of the wider world through the competing efforts of family members and intimates.
To learn more about this iconic American poet, visit the website of The Emily Dickinson Museum. I live very close to Amherst and stop in to visit the garden in spring and summer every year. Here is a photo I took of the summer garden this year. It is pretty much kept the way Emily once kept it.
As an aside, I once read an article about Emily Dickinson entitled Emily Dickinson: The Pagan Sphinx and borrowed the name (with credit to the writer which can be found just below the blog header, under Pages About the Pagan Sphinx Blog.) which is my blog and blog moniker. TPS will be three years old in February and it has never regretted its name. :-)