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Emily Dickinsons obsession with death in her poetry has fascinated people for over a century Her use of dark morbid language was relatively unique in mid-nineteenth century poetry especially for a woman The subject of these poems ranged from just wondering about death or the processes leading up to it to Emily actually lying on her own deathbed Throughout her life she experienced extensive personal struggles including her own battle with long-term illness and the death of many loved ones This paper will discuss how Emily Dickinsons life affected her poetry and also offer an interpretation of one of her most famous death poems Emily was born in 1830 to an educated Puritan family in the small farming town of Amherst Massachusetts Given a well-rounded education in her childhood and teens she went off to seminary school but illness brought her home after the first year She soon settled in to the life of mothers helper and oldest daughter Being part of the social crowd in her small town was important but Emily often stayed home to tend to her sick mother She befriended two men during this important time in her life Leonard Humphrey was the principal of the local school and Benjamin Newton worked as a clerk in her fathers law office Both men helped Emily with her writing and first publications Leonard died young soon after her first publishing and Benjamin followed just four years later in 1853 During these years she was also introduced to Samuel Bowles editor of the Springfield Republican They became friends and Samuel published one of Emilys poems However during the next several years it became increasingly clear that he had different poetical tastes than she did and made it known that he would not publish any more of her work Finally in 1860 after Emily had been sending Samuel poems indirectly he wrote an article in his paper about being sent poems
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