One of the finest American poets, Emily Dickinson was born on December 10, 1850 in Amherst, Massachusetts. Her style of writing poems was very different and unique for her era she was living in. Although women did not have a lot of authority in America at that time such as they weren't allowed to vote or did not have a lot of freedom of speech, Emily Dickinson had a different mindset and hence could not publish her poems when she was alive. Out of the 1800 poems or so written by her, most of them are related to the theme ‘Death’ or ‘emotional disturbance’ and ‘passion for nature’. Throughout her life, she seldom left her house and visitors were few. The people with whom she did interact, however had an enormous impact on her poetry. She was also influenced by Reverend Charles Wadsworth, whom she met on a trip to Philadelphia. She mentioned in one of her letters that he was one of her closest ‘earthy friend’. She also had other romantic relationships and unrequited love. By the 1860s, she lived in almost complete isolation from the outside world but actively maintained many correspondences. She spent great deal of time with her family.
Dickinson was troubled from a young age, by the deepening menace of those who were very close to her. When Sophia Holland, her second cousin and her very close friend grew ill from typhus, Emily was traumatised. It was maybe then that she wrote the poem “After great pain, a formal feeling comes”. The theme of the poem revolves around the consequences of death or loss, to finally letting go of the pain. The poem tells us that often great traumas are followed by a period of numbness. Numb nerves, a confused heart, robotic mechanical feet and people freezing in the snow all of these images add up to paint a vivid picture of the inner life of somebody who is deeply disturbed after experiencing something awful. Dickinson talks about her experience of how she dealt with the consequences of pain and like most of the poems, even...
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