Emily Dickinson showed her view on God in some of the poems that she wrote. Emily Dickinson was known to go through hard times, especially when it came to losing people close to her. Emily Dickinson’s poems reflect that and how she dealt with those losses and what God meant to her and what he didn’t mean too. Emily Dickinson’s poems also show how Emily Dickinson perceived God among other things. Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886) was an American poet. Emily Dickinson lived a mostly introverted and reclusive life (Garrison n. d. ).
Emily Dickinson seldom left her home; furthermore she only rarely spoke to visitors (Mudge 2008). Emily Dickinson wrote over three hundred poems; Emily Dickinson also wrote much prose (Mudge 2008). Emily Dickinson’s poetry was first published in 1890, three years after Emily Dickinson’s death (Swann Auction Galleries n. d. ). Emily Dickinson consistently describes God as an active presence in her life, but her poems reflect what role God played for Emily Dickinson; Emily Dickinson seems to merge the idea of God with an abstract energy force which moves through nature and is available to human kind (Bridgers n. d. ).
Emily Dickinson often used nature imagery to portray the relationship between people and their creator (Bridgers n. d. ). Emily Dickinson’s poetry frequently references her belief that there is a divinity which shapes our ends unites all humankind, Emily Dickinson also believed that God was present in nature (Bridgers n. d. ). Emily Dickinson portrayed her belief through poems like “I dwell in Possibility” by Emily Dickinson, Emily Dickinson’s poetry conveyed Emily Dickinson’s notions of God’s presence and role; Emily Dickinson also used poems to discuss her views on what it means to be a follower of Christ (Swann Auction Galleries n. . ).
Emily Dickinson referred to herself as a Christian throughout the majority of her life even though Emily Dickinson did not attend church regularly or partake in any religious activities during Emily Dickinson’s lifetime (Mudge 2008). Emily Dickinson seemed to have an understanding with God or at least wanted an understanding with God because Emily Dickinson desired God to reveal himself more greatly so Emily Dickinson could see God (Bridgers n. d. ).
Emily Dickinson’s poems used imagery to convey Emily Dickinson’s idea that there is a higher power, Emily Dickinson also wrote poems about wishing Emily Dickinson could understand the ways of God (Mudge 2008). Emily Dickinson used her poems to express Emily Dickinson’s views on God and what Emily Dickinson thought of God during Emily Dickinson’s lifetime. Emily Dickenson used nature as images or symbolism throughout her poetry to show how she felt about God; Emily Dickenson was able to convey her ideas in poetic form so people can relate with Emily Dickenson.
Emily Dickinson is well known as a reclusive poet who wrote much of her poetry during the day and slid it under the door to her sister-in-law’s room at night. Emily was reportedly an introvert, living in “dollhouse” rooms which adjoined one another to facilitate communication with those around her without having to leave home. Emily never married and lived with her mother until she passed away.
Even after Emily’s mother died, Emily continued to live in their home for ten more years before finally deciding that she could no longer face life alone and moved into a two bedroom apartment with a family friend where Emily would remain until her death. It is still not entirely clear why Emily abandoned her life as a recluse and moved into the two bedroom apartment with another family. Emily’s sister-in-law, Lavinia, commented that Emily was “too frail for this world” and Emily herself wrote poetry about not being strong enough to handle her load.
It is possible that Emily realized she could no longer survive on her own and decided she would be better off living with someone else than facing death alone. Emily had worked as a teacher most of her adult life but never made much money at it. Emily would use most of what little money she earned to purchase gifts for friends and neighbors who were ill or suffering in some way. Emily was known for baking dozens upon dozens of apple pies each week which friends and neighbors would line up to receive.
Emily was fiercely independent and, because she never married nor had children, her life revolved around those closest to her whom Emily could love and nurture. But Emily’s focus on nurturing others made Emily quite weak and only intensified the physical problems Emily battled throughout life such as headaches, back pain, fatigue and illness. Emily Dickinson was a woman who viewed God as a loving father figure to be cherished and adored but also feared and obeyed.
Emily often took to interpreting passages of scripture through intense debate with herself in an effort to understand God’s true intent. Many poems that Emily wrote were attempts by Emily at reconciling her view of God with specific passages from Scripture which contradicted one another or were somehow confusing or unclear. Emily Dickinson had a strong faith in God and Emily believed that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and that He died for Emily’s sins and paid the price of Emily’s eternal redemption. Emily would often tell others that she loved them when Emily knew it wasn’t true.
Emily didn’t shy away from saying things which were hurtful or offensive to others but Emily would seldom allow herself to be honest even when being honest meant saying something hurtful to another person. When Emily told someone “I love you” it was because Emily couldn’t think of anything else to say, not because Emily truly loved them. Emily Dickinson wrote mostly short poems about life, death, religion, people–both individually and collectively–and nature. Emily wrote most of Emily’s poems in the privacy of Emily’s home and Emily would often write them during the day while sitting in Emily’s bedroom.
Emily also wrote poems about her own life experiences including Emily Dickinson’s frustrations with chronic illness, Emily Dickinson’s desire to be loved by others, Emily Dickinson’s fear of death and Emily Dickinson’s strong faith in God through Jesus Christ. Most of Emily Dickinson’s poems were quite short–just two or three sentences long at most–but even so they could take hours for Emily to craft just the right words into just the right combination which best expressed how Emily felt at a given point in time.
It was this intense passion for words that made Emily such a great poet whose works continue to inspire and challenge Emily’s readers to this day. Emily Dickinson: Her Life and Work is the story of Emily Dickinson’s life and how Emily was influenced by an unconventional faith in God through Jesus Christ. It is Emily’s hope that those who read Emily Dickinson: Her Life and Work will gain a better understanding of Emily Dickinson as a person, as well as, an appreciation for what made Emily such a great poet whose works continue to inspire people around the world even now after Emily’s death more than one hundred years ago.