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The Poems of Emily Dickinson – Part II

Dr. White refutes the the charges made against Emily Dickinson in recent years that she was a manic-depressive with deep mental issues, explaining that she simply knew the extremes of joy and sorrow and expressed them in her poetry and that she could never have kept house for her father so efficiently if she had had severe psychological issues. The inspiration of her verse from Protestant hymns, nursery rhymes, and folk songs is demonstrated, and specific poems read and analyzed, including “Hope is the Thing with Feathers” and “I Taste a Liquor Never Brewed.” Dr. White demonstrates Dickinson’s grasp of nature’s place and criticism of the transcendentalism popular in her time, and discusses her struggle with religion as evident in the religious poetry that she wrote. Finally, he examines her attitude towards death and analyzes her famous poem “Because I Could Not Stop for Death.” These lectures are a beautiful tribute to one of America’s greatest and most humble poets.

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