“The outer from the inner derives its magnitude.” So wrote Emily Dickinson, a contemporary of Walt Whitman, and one of the greatest American poets. The line provides a key to the large and intricate mansion of her work. Born in 1830, at her death in 1886 she left nearly 2,000 poems, many of them tied up in small handmade bundles, nearly all without titles, and many of them composed in complete secrecy.

Dickinson stands as the dramatic antithesis to the strutting and controversial celebrity Whitman. Unlike him, she lived as a recluse, remaining loyal to what she saw as her “polar privacy”. ...


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