Emily Dickinson

Reply Wed 11 Aug, 2004 07:42 am
I'm happy I found this thread again. Drom, I have a neat idea for a thread. Let's expand on the connection between Dickinson and Whitman. We start with the isolationist theory, or at least that both poets felt isolated for different reasons, but tied to love, and move on to their style. Emily, the recluse, confined to perfect internal small verse, Whitman, the expressionist, shouting out his feelings in a single, never-ending tribute to actually living. Inaction versus action in the creative process of both poets. Thoughts welcome, especially as this could be completely crazy.
0 Replies
drom et reve
Reply Wed 11 Aug, 2004 07:54 am
Fantastic! Are we writing in this thread? Well, we may as well, I suppose.

I have quite a few things to say, but in no particular order. I find their differing invocations of Heaven interesting, especially how they use God, an accepted norm of the day, to express their own isolation-- from other people; from the society in which they lived.

Whitman's was more active-- as in 'Why should I wish to see God better than this day'-- and as in this part of Song of Myself:

I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the
beginning and the end,
But I do not talk of the beginning or the end.

There was never any more inception than there is now,
Nor any more youth or age than there is now,
And will never be any more perfection than there is now,
Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.

(There are probably better ones, which I will try to remember later.)

Whereas Emily was more passive--

"Heaven" -- is what I cannot reach!
The Apple on the Tree --
Provided it do hopeless -- hang --
That -- "Heaven" is -- to Me!

The Color, on the Cruising Cloud --
The interdicted Land --
Behind the Hill -- the House behind --
There -- Paradise -- is found!

Her teasing Purples -- Afternoons --
The credulous -- decoy --
Enamored -- of the Conjuror --
That spurned us -- Yesterday!

The agression, or lack of it, with which they approached their poetry seems to conceal their strong continuity. I wonder whether it was this 'Heaven' that isolated them from society most?

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Reply Wed 11 Aug, 2004 07:58 am
I think it was probably what their respective societies and upbringing thought about the concept of heaven that isolated them. Thoughts?
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Reply Wed 11 Aug, 2004 08:00 am
That might explain the lack of 'aggression', and also the continuity. I am inclined to think that despite wildly different styles, one still is required to read between the lines to get to heart of this particular question. Uh oh, I think I'm channeling my old professor! Laughing
0 Replies
drom et reve
Reply Wed 11 Aug, 2004 08:23 am
Laughing Is your professor still teaching, out of interest?

I agree, absolutely. In wanting to be part of Heaven -- or, at least to see Heaven as they would have it-- what is it that they want? Acceptance from society? (It is unusual to see how underappreciated they both were in their lifetimes.) I wonder how ED and Whitman would have behaved if she stepped out the once to meet him?

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Reply Wed 11 Aug, 2004 08:30 am
You know, I think he's retired. He also taught my creative writing course. It's an interesting question about how they were underappreciated in their lifetimes, for their choices in how they decided to live. Hmmm....a new thread might be in order. I like the idea of 'what would have happened' if they met.
0 Replies
drom et reve
Reply Wed 11 Aug, 2004 09:57 am
Indeed... there could even be a thread for underappreciated poets' works...

(Incidentally, Cav; have you ever come across a site called 'Cosmoetica.com?' It's a rather interesting site; as well as essays (humorous, sometimes ranting,) they actually take old poems that they consider bad and reformulate them...).

It's a real pity that they never did meet. (Incidentally; are creative writing courses very rare, like they are in England? Did they judge compositions that you wrote freely, or did you have to write on themes?)

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drom et reve
Reply Mon 16 Aug, 2004 06:30 am
Glory is that bright tragic thing,
That for an instant
Means Dominion,
Warms some poor name
That never felt the sun,
Gently replacing
In oblivion.

0 Replies
drom et reve
Reply Mon 16 Aug, 2004 06:32 am
(Two poems to-day to make up for the last few days' quietness.)

Two lengths has every day,
Its absolute extent--
And area superior
By hope or heaven lent.
Eternity will be
Velocity, or pause,
At fundamental signals
From fundamental laws.
To die, is not to go--
On doom's consummate chart
No territory new is staked,
Remain thou as thou art.

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Reply Mon 16 Aug, 2004 06:44 am
I'll check out that site drom. Creative writing credit courses at the university level are a bit rare here, I think. I was lucky to have a professor who had us write both theme-based and free compositions.

There are plenty of non-credit courses offered here from a variety of sources, universities, colleges, independent learning centers, etc. There are some really good workshops offered, taught by professional authors. They are quite limited in terms of registration though, not a bad thing.
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Reply Mon 16 Aug, 2004 06:49 am
When a man's best friend is his dog, that dog has a problem.
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drom et reve
Reply Mon 16 Aug, 2004 07:10 am
That's good to hear, Cav; though one has to be wary of these workshops: especially ones over here; they seem very unselective, and turn out 90% doggerrel. (Making it even harder to find diamonds in the rough)

Speaking of dogs; well, the dog's feeling might not be so requited, Dys.

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drom et reve
Reply Sat 4 Sep, 2004 10:27 am
YOU left me, sweet, two legacies,-
A legacy of love
A Heavenly Father would content,
Had He the offer of;

You left me boundaries of pain
Capacious as the sea,
Between eternity and time,
Your consciousness and me.

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Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2015 05:04 pm
splendid. I was just about to start a foreboding thread about giving Emily short shrift - and maybe the spirit of Joanne Dorel saves the bairns. I shall search the thread. I didn't like Emily in college, yet I am tasked to introduce her and emphasize her to disaffected - who am i kidding - lazy-ass little bastards - and i want to make an impression...

OK, the one in their faces, but another one too - about Emily.

If you can bring goodness a la Emily - ways to promote understanding of her style, explication, her themes... I KNOW them, but a good way to impart this information? A nouvelle strategy?
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2015 05:13 pm
Good question, I'd be interested in responses.
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2015 06:53 pm
I only read her slightly in busy school. No attraction from me at the time, or after that. People I respect do like her.
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