Emily Dickinson - Poems

Emily Dickinson
 
Dickinson was a reclusive American poet who was born and lived in Amherst, Massachusetts her entire life (1830-1886). Only seven of her 1800 poems were published in her lifetime. The remainder of her work was published by her family after her death. 
 
It is not clear as to why Dickinson went into seclusion soon after her twenty-third birthday, though there is speculation that it had to do with a disappointed relationship. In more recent years feminist critics have taken issue with the portrayal of Dickinson as being a reclusive and eccentric figure, and rather view her as artistically sophisticated and an exemplar intellectual.
 
 
Though she restricted her contact with visitors, spending most of her time in her room, she engaged in correspondence, and revealed in her letters that she was current with the writings of notable authors of the day. As a poet, Emily Dickinson has had considerable influence on modern poetry. Her later work is characterized by the frequent use of dashes, broken meter and the unconventional use of metaphors. 
           “Poem #639”
My Portion is Defeat—today—
A paler luck than Victory—
Less Paeans—fewer Bells—
The Drums don't follow Me—with tunes—
Defeat—a somewhat slower—means—
More Arduous than Balls—

'Tis populous with Bone and stain—
And Men too straight to stoop again—,
And Piles of solid Moan—
And Chips of Blank—in Boyish Eyes—
And scraps of Prayer—
And Death's surprise,
Stamped visible—in Stone—

There's somewhat prouder, over there—
The Trumpets tell it to the Air—
How different Victory
To Him who has it—and the One
Who to have had it, would have been
Contender—to die—