Saturday, December 10, 2022

Emily Dickinson's birthday and dashes in Robert Frost and Elizabeth Bishop

Today is Emily Dickinson's birthday (born in 1830, "called back" on 15 May 1886, as it says on her gravestone). I am not teaching a course on her work this semester, but my class on poetry in general did spend a session discussing "I'm Nobody"; as usual with that poem, new angles came up in the discussion. But one of Dickinson's trademarks is dashes, and dashes have come up in that same class (the dash in Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken", which I touched on yesterday) and in my seminar on Elizabeth Bishop, whose occasional dashes have a wide range of implications, from emphasis to hesitation to being more precise. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 10 December 2022)


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