English 100

Junior Seminar: Emily Dickinson

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
10 Spring 2008 Shoptaw, John
Shoptaw, John
TTh 12:30-2 259 Dwinelle
Other Readings and Media

Dickinson, E.: The Poems of Emily Dickinson,Selected Letters; Habegger, A.: My Wars are Laid Away in Books; Course Reader


This is an intensive course in the poetry of Emily Dickinson. We will learn how to read (to describe and interpret) her poems, along with her letters and a biography, deeply but also broadly throughout her career. Topics include early poetry; poetic rhythm; figuration; definition and riddle; death, religion, and nature as topic and as figure; love poetry and poetic seduction; emotion & suspense; gender and sexuality; self-definition; biography; manuscript poem packets; poems revisiting poems; letters and/as poems; contemporary history (e.g., Civil War); contemporary poetry (e.g., Emerson, Robert & E.B. Browning); late poetry; reception and influence. There will be a few exercises, a shorter and a longer paper.

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