본문 바로가기
  • Home

Emily Dickinson’s Changing Poetics

EUI YOUNG KIM 1

1인하대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This essay challenges the idea that Emily Dickinson’s fascicles representa highpoint in her poetic creativity. Scholars who have studiedDickinson’s manuscripts have uncovered the full trajectory of Dickinson’schanging poetics. After producing forty fascicles, Dickinson graduallystopped binding the sheets of stationery on which she had transcribed herpoems. Understanding this as a conscious aesthetic decision sheds newlight on Dickinson’s post-fascicle writing. The unbound bifolum sheets ofthe middle period reveal Dickinson’s acute self-consciousness about herdecision not to bind her poems. Poems from this period show thatDickinson was fascinated by the aesthetic possibilities and challenges presentedby not binding her poems. In the final decade of her life, Dickinsondispensed with formal stationery altogether, electing to write on scrappieces of paper. This phase of her writing is understudied because the criticalconsensus until recent years has been that these scraps are not quitepoems. By examining two envelope poems, this essay reveals that Dickinson worked against the possibilities of abstraction and transference by refusing to finish her poems. In this final stage, her experimentationextended to include the very material on which she wrote. This essay concludesthat the findings of Dickinson manuscript studies need to be embracedby scholars to appreciate the full scope of Dickinson’s creativepractice and to gain a contextualized understanding of individual poems.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.