By: Ashley Bartlett
Career as a Poet
- Studied english at Amherst academy and Mount Holyoke College (1840–1847)
- During the late 1850's she began to write most of her poems
- Her poetry was influenced by friends and few men she met, in particular, Charles Wadsworth (a man she met in Philadelphia) and Benjamin Franklin Newton.
- Spent time by herself in her house writing constantly
- Only published 7 of 1800 of her poems during her lifetime
Hope is the Thing with Feathers
“Hope” is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I’ve heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest sea,
Yet never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
Much madness is divinest sense
To a discerning eye;
Much sense the starkest madness.
’T is the majority
In this, as all, prevails.
Assent, and you are sane;
Demur,—you ’re straightway dangerous,
And handled with a chain.
Influence on Literature
- As a Puritan, she questioned religious views such as sin and salvation
- Her isolated life allowed her to write about her deepest feelings, and captured the emotion of many Americans during that time
- Wrote about death, love and other deep topics other people were afraid to mention
- Emilys independence played a huge role in her poems, she didn't want to be like every one else
Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2014.