elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Emily Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886)

In 1852, Emily Dickinson wrote a love letter to her friend Susan Gilbert (who will marry her brother) that read in part, “Susie, forgive me darling, for every word I say—my heart is full of you, none other than you in my thoughts.” The bulk of Dickinson’s poetry has been divided into two distinct phases, separated by an “emotional crisis” in 1861. During the first phase, beginning around 1858, she was in love with poet Kate Scott Anthon, and her poems reflected her happiness: “Her sweet Weight on my Heart a Night / Had scarcely deigned to lie- / When, stirring, for Belief's delight, / My Bride had slipped away-.” However, in April 1861 Anthon sent Dickinson a letter ending their relationship. Dickinson was devastated, suffering symptoms that modern analysts have diagnosed as panic attacks and agoraphobia. Dickinson called Anthon “a traitor,” and contemplated suicide. The breakup triggered Dickinson’s second phase of poetic productivity, marked by even greater creativity and, in the words of John F. McDermott, “a revolutionary poetic style.” The last twenty years of Dickinson’s life were spent in obscure seclusion, dressed in white. Kate Scott Anthon was Sue Gilbert Dickinson's friend from their time together (c. 1849-1850) in the Utica Female Seminary to Sue’s death in 1914. Kate and Emily met in 1859, the former then a young widow; her husband, Campbell Ladd Turner, died of tuberculosis in 1857.

Timeline & Places:

• December 10, 1830: born at 280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002, Stati Uniti

• 1847: attended Mount Holyoke College, 50 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075, USA

• May 15, 1886: died. Buried at Amherst West Cemetery, Triangle St, Amherst, MA 01002, Stati Uniti


Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time
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Queer Places, Vol. 1.2: Retracing the Steps of LGBTQ people around the World Authored by Elisa Rolle
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Queer Massachusetts: Retracing the Steps of LGBTQ people around the World
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