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Emily Dickinson Born 1830, Amherst, MA Died 1886, Amherst, MA PowerPoint Presentation
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Emily Dickinson Born 1830, Amherst, MA Died 1886, Amherst, MA. Elizabeth Bishop Born 1911, Worcester, MA Died 1979, Boston, MA. The Person, the Poet. By many accounts, Dickinson and Bishop are considered two of the “greatest American poets.”

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Emily Dickinson

Born 1830, Amherst, MA

Died 1886, Amherst, MA

Elizabeth Bishop

Born 1911, Worcester, MA

Died 1979, Boston, MA

the person the poet
The Person, the Poet

By many accounts, Dickinson and Bishop are considered two of the “greatest American poets.”

Poetry was an outlet to deal with the crisis of loss

Dickinson: the recluse, the rebel

Bishop: the orphan, the perfectionist

Major threads: faith, identity, and art

themes of crisis
Themes of Crisis

Dominion Over Faith/Nature

Bishop’s “The Fish”

Dickinson’s “I know that He exists”

Existential Identity

Bishop’s “In the Waiting Room”

Dickinson’s “I saw no Way”

Art and Transcendence

Bishop’s “Sandpiper”

Dickinson’s “To hear an Oriole sing”

dominion over faith nature
Dominion Over Faith/Nature

Bishop’s “The Fish”

  • Dickinson’s “I know that He exists”
dominion over faith nature1
Dominion Over Faith/Nature

Bishop, “the perfectionist”

“There is a continuing vibration in her work between two frequencies: the domestic and the strange. In another poet ,the alternation might seem a debate, but Bishop drifts rather than divides, gazes rather than chooses. Her poems oscillate between the familiar and the fantastic. Domestic objects and events become progressively estranged or emblematic. Representations of certainty suddenly grow mysterious and untrustworthy [such as the ‘tremendous fish’ with fish hooks hanging from its jaw like a General’s medals] are at once frightening and miraculous.”

(David Wojhan in “The Fiery Event of Every Day,” an essay on Bishop’s poetry.

existential identity
Existential Identity

Bishop’s “In the Waiting Room”

  • Dickinson’s “I saw no Way”
art and transcendence
Art and Transcendence

Bishop’s “Sandpiper”

  • Dickinson’s “To hear an Oriole sing”
art and transcendence1
Art and Transcendence

Bishop’s “Sandpiper”

“It turns out that Bishop has her own supply of self-pity… fortunately this is leavened by the poet’s wonderfully sly and confident sense of what she’s up to, as well as a very endearing sense of self-mockery... Like the little bird she made into a personal emblem in ‘Sandpiper,’ Bishop never rested from her relentless search for meaning.”

(Richard Tillinghast in “Elizabeth Bishop: driving to the interior”)