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English Literature   >   The Poetry of Emily Dickinson

The Poet

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The Poetry of Emily Dickinson

In this course, Dr Páraic Finnerty (University of Portsmouth) explores the poetry Emily Dickinson. In the first module, we think about the figure of the poet herself, exploring some of the reasons why Dickinson refused to play the role of the public poet. After that, in the second module, we think about the figure of the reader, focusing on Dickinson's subversion of the traditional relationship between (active) poet and (passive) reader. In the third module, we focus on the way in which Dickinson uses imagery of travel and exploration to demonstrate the global reach of (her) poetry, before turning in the fourth module to explore some of Dickinson's Civil War poetry and her interest in adopting personae when writing her poetry, much like Browning had done in his Dramatic Lyrics. In the fifth module, we think about Dickinson's response to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, before moving in the sixth and final module to explore the theme of immortality, both personal and literary.

The Poet

In this module, we think about Dickinson as a poet, focusing in particular on her refusal to play the public poet, looking in particular at her poem 'This was a Poet — It is That' (448).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Finnerty, P. (2018, August 15). The Poetry of Emily Dickinson - The Poet [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Finnerty, P. "The Poetry of Emily Dickinson – The Poet." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,


Dr Páraic Finnerty

Dr Páraic Finnerty

Portsmouth University