Emily Dickinson’s famous poems have inspired and captivated readers since their publication in 1890, four years after her death. Only four of the 1,800 poems of Dickinson were printed during her lifetime, and those were printed anonymously. Such poems as “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” and “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass” are still read and analyzed by high school and college students today.
There are many poetic devices in Emily Dickinson’s famous poems that set her apart from other poets of her day and age. Her usage of slant rhyme is one of the best examples of her uniqueness. She also uses pauses and breaks at unexpected places in her poems. Dickinson uses irony in her many death-themed poems, which sets her apart from her contemporaries. She writes of death as a friend rather than an enemy in her poem, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death,” using the word “kindly” when referring to death, which evokes a sense of irony.
Emily Dickinson’s famous poems are believed to be influenced by the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman, although Dickinson herself was not directly associated with Transcendentalism. She was, however, viewed as a liberal Christian. Nature and the cycles of human life are also major themes in many of Emily Dickinson’s famous poems like “Fame is a Bee,” and “I felt a Funeral, in My Brain.”
Dickinson was definitely an early feminist, writing such poems as “The Wife,” and “All Overgrown by Cunning Moss,” which mentions the name, Currer Bell, the male pseudonym of Charlotte Bronte. The fact that Dickinson never married is also an indicator that she disagreed with the traditional role of a female in nineteenth-century American society. Had she conformed to the societal norms of her day, Emily Dickinson’s famous poems may never have been written at all. And while Dickinson was never publicly recognized as an outstanding poet during her lifetime, she will remain an icon in the world of poetry for generations to come.