you ever smiled after you read a poem? Well, if the answer is yes you should
know the poet wanted you to feel like this after reading his creation. It is often said that
poetry has been defined as “putting the best possible words in the best
possible order” and I think this is not only available, but also a general
let’s take Emily Dickinson’s poetry. She was born in 1830, in Amherst,
Massachusetts and was a very talented American poet. Her father was a lawyer
and she had an elder brother William Austin and an younger sister named Lavinia
Norcross. At the early age of eighteen, she started writing and rumours of that
time say that she was influenced by Lydia Maria Child’s Letters from New York , by Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and also by William Shakespeare. Until 1860, her productivity
was immense. After short time, her behavior started to keep changing. She was
rarely seen in public and her clothing was all composed from white clothes. Her
friends were not visiting her, but they constantly talked by letters. After her
death, in 1886 her poems were published anonymously, because during her
lifetime, Emily Dickinson shared only a few of her creations.
of her lyrical and unique poems is called “Come slowly, Eden”. It was written
in 1864 and it has only two stanzas. Passing the fact that it is a short poem,
in a few words she, the author, managed to take us, the readers, to another
world. Focusing on the context, we will discover a real artwork. The first stanza
begins with a call, the same as the title “Come slowly, Eden” and continues to
show different nature images that alternate with human elements and feelings
like “lips”, “Bashful” , as there is : “lips unused to thee,Bashful, sip thy
jasmines,As the fainting bee,”. This special order of words transmits the
sensibility of the writer and the way we can understand the message through the
elements of the nature. In an uncommon way, Emily Dickinson does not use her
usual style in this poem because she changes it a little bit by using between
six and five syllables.
central word, “Eden” can be understood as a call to a beloved person or maybe
she refers to the paradise that her beloved one represents to her. We are free
to associate different meanings because the ambiguity is a characteristic form
of literary texts. The association of a nature element with a person means the
absolute way of defining the author’s feelings. Because simple words that
describe people are not enough and they are not specific to a delighted poet,
Emily Dickinson searches deeper, and deeper and she finds the ultimate and the
strongest word to define the magical call for her love: “Eden”.
slowly, Eden” takes part from the first distinct period when Emily Dickinson
wrote poems : the most sentimental and related to nature one.
were three periods of writing in the author’s life:
poems generally fall into three distinct periods, the works in each period
having certain general characters in common.
These are often conventional and sentimental in nature.138 Thomas H. Johnson,
who later published The Poems of Emily Dickinson, was able to date only five of
Dickinson’s poems before 1858.139 Two of these are mock valentines done in an
ornate and humorous style, and two others are conventional lyrics, one of which
is about missing her brother Austin. The fifth poem, which begins “I have
a Bird in spring”, conveys her grief over the feared loss of friendship
and was sent to her friend Sue Gilbert.139
This was her most creative period—these poems represent her most vigorous and
creative work. Johnson estimated that she composed 86 poems in 1861, 366 in
1862, 141 in 1863, and 174 in 1864. He also believed that during this period,
she fully developed her themes of life and mortality.140
It is estimated that two-thirds of the entire body of her poetry was written
before this year.
the second and the last stanza is: “Reaching late his flower,Round her chamber
hums,Counts his nectars –enters,And is lost in balms!”. We can easily
observe that it is not enough only one reading, this stanza requires two or
three readings to be understood the real meaning of words. An important aspect
is that Dickinsons had a herbarium that influenced her writings about nature
and the pure condition. It consists of 424 pressed specimens of plants arranged
on 66 pages of a bound album. This delight for plants, for nature can be a sign
that the author had a passion for plants.
The Emily Dickinson Handbook edited
by Gudrun Grabher , Roland Hagenbuchle and Cristianne Miller(University of
Massachusetts Press, p.184) , David Porter says ” What is required of earnest
Dickinson readers, then, is patience of mind, the ability to live with
indefiniteness and indeterminacy, more so than with any other major American
poet…”. In other words, what can I develop is that David Porter tries in a few
lines to highlight the fact that Emily Dickinson’s poetry is not as simple as
people maybe thought. The ” patience of mind” can be defined as the patience of
understanding contexts, themes and motifs from her work. It is crucial to study
enough the meaning of every single part from the poem , in order to acquire the
real feeling that the author sends to us.
Dickinson’s poetry went beyond barriers :
Dickinson’s poetry has been translated to different languages including French,
Spanish, Farsi, Kurdish, and Russian. A few examples of these translations are
The Queen of
Bashful Violets, a Kurdish translation by Madeh Piryonesi published in 2016.
translation by Charlotte Melançon which includes 40 poems.
translations: Three Farsi translations of Emily Dickinson are available from
Saeed Saeedpoor, Madeh Piryonesi and Okhovat.
Dickinson is taught in American literature and poetry classes in the United
States, being one of the most famous poets from the nineteenth century. Even
some schools have taken the author’s name, for instance, Emily Dickinson Elementary Schools exist in Redmond, Washington and
New York City. Moreover, in honor of
Dickinson family, the place where their house has been for all those years has
been built by Armherst College and now it is a museum. The availability of this
museum exits from 2003 and is dedicated to educate the audience about all the
specific aspects of Dickinson family .
has been a subject even in the years 300 B.C. Aristotle, in his Poetics considers poetry a mimes form
that has language, rhythm and lyrics. Moreover, in those days, any literary
piece of work could be written in lyrics. The using of delicate forms of
transmitting the message distinguishes poetry from other forms of literary
texts. (Billy Mills,2008)
Taylor Coledrige has a famous quote: “I wish our clever young poets would
remember my homely definitions of prose and poetry; that is, prose – words in
their best order; poetry – the best words in their best order.” Well, I do
not think there could be something more added, as long as we are all aware of
the fact that poetry is a fine art that requires not only a developed
vocabulary, but also a brilliant mind to put all those words in a specific
order. (Billy Mills,2008)
Romanian writer, Tudor Arghezi , wrote in his poem Testament that he had chosen for his poem only “right words” : “Eu
am ivit cuvinte potrivite”. That means he did a tough work to find the exact
words, so that the reader could be able to understand the message.
Loeffelholz, member of Northeastern’s faculty since 1988, says in her book The Value of Emily Dickinson , that
“…perhaps even most readers of Dickinson today, would agree: admitting
knowledge of Dickinson biographical identity as a woman writer is important,
perhaps even essential, to appreciating her literary value.” (Ch. 3, p.60) What
can I summarize is the fact that the author is essential in making the
impossible possible. In other words, I think that it is necessary more than the
talent for writing in order to convey in just a few words some specific
attitudes. Of course, the presence of an experienced reader who is not at the
first reading of a poem makes the difference between understanding the real
message or not.
conclusion, Emily Dickinson has a special sensibility that transfers us through
her creation in another world. It is important to know these details, in order
to understand the fact that poetry actually means “putting the best possible
words in the best possible order” and the one who said this knew what he was