Lily's Inspiration

By: Grace Graber

Robert Frost

During Frost's high school years, he became interested in reading and writing poetry. Some jobs Frost did after college was working as a teacher, cobbler, and editor of The Lawrence Continental. He published his first poem, "The Butterfly" on November 8, 1894 in the New York newspaper, The Independent. His wife was an inspiration for him and his poems. Frost also established a friendship with the poet Ezra Pound, who helped publish his work. By the 1920s, Frost was the most famous poet in America. His poetry was about life and New England.

William Blake

When Blake was ten years old, he wished to be a painter, so his parents took him to drawing school. Two years later, Blake started to write poetry. His wife helped him print poetry, for which he is remembered today. He published his most popular collection, Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience. Blake believed that his poetry could be read and understood by common people but he was determined not to sacrifice his vision to become popular. Blake's poetry wasn't well known to the public but he was mentioned in A Biographical Dictionary of the Living Authors of Great Britain and Ireland. Samuel Taylor Coleridge considered Blake a "man of Genius" for the poems.

Emily Dickinson

Many people influenced Emily Dickinson and her poetry. Dickinson wrote many poems about love including about Otis P. Lord and Samuel Bowles. Dickinson read books by Metaphysical poets and the Book of Revelation which effected her poetry. Dickinson was raised in a New England town with Puritans and reformed Christianity (Calvinists) and influenced her writings. She loved the poetry by Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning and John Keats. Dickinson's first volume of her work was published in 1890 and the last in 1955. After Emily died, her family found forty volumes of 1,800 poems. Her poems weren't restored until 1981. The Manuscript Books of Emily Dickinson is the only poetry volume that keeps all of her poetry together.

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare devoted his first two poems to Henry Wriothesley, which were: Venus and Adonis, and The Rape of Lucrece. Shakespeare’s poems were so popular that they were reprinted six times during the nine years of publication. Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets through the years 1593 - 1601. Shakespeare wrote his sonnets about the decay of life, beauty, and love.

Henry David Thoreau

When Henry D. Thoreau graduated he helped his father with some family business and worked as a school teacher. Thoreau spent his time writing essays and poems for The Diary on Emerson's property. Thoreau built a small house on Emerson's property by the Walden Pond, where he wrote his two famous books: A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, and Walden. In the early years, Thoreau thought he was an amazing poet but then he thought poetry was too confining or limiting.

How the Authors relate to The Secret Life of Bees

Lily and her class was assigned another Shakespeare play to read and write about.(pg. 57)
T. Ray calls Lily, Miss Emily-Big-Head-Diction because Lily likes to write. (pg. 16)

August told Lily that her mother once climbed up a tree because she had to memorize a poem by Robert Frost. (pg. 237)

Lily's mother underlined a poem by William Blake about her mother and T.Ray. (pg. 274-275)

Mrs. Henry had Lily and her classmates read portions of Walden Pond by Henry David Thoreau. (pg. 57)