Emily Dickinson's Collected Poems

Faith Suspended

Emily Dickinson is perhaps one of the most intriguing American poets studied. The remote look in her eyes mirror her life, which she mostly spent secluded in her home in Amherst, Massachusetts. While leading an outwardly reclusive life, she unleashes the faculties of her mind in her powerful poetry. She addresses compelling themes such as death, depression, human despair, individual capability, and the art of poetry. Her feelings on these subjects emerge in her poems, but her exact thoughts are difficult to uncover since her poetry is so highly enigmatic. Likewise, the subject matter of Christianity in her poetry remains one the most inconsistent of Dickinson's reoccurring themes.

It is known that she stopped attending church at an early age and eventually withdrew from Mount Holyoke Female Seminary because she could not accept the idea of Original Sin (Conarroe 74). Furthermore, Dickinson also "resisted the local religious revivals in which other family members and friends . . . became involved" (884). Despite her dislike for revivals, as did many clergymen during her time, Dickinson incorporates central Christian themes in her poetry. She often makes Biblical references such as "Because Your Face / Would...

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