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Happy Birthday to American poet, Emily Dickinson, born this day in 1830!

Dickinson was a prolific private poet, with fewer than a dozen of her nearly eighteen hundred poems published during her lifetime. Her poems are unique for the era in which she wrote; they contain short lines, typically lack titles, and often use slant rhyme as well as unconventional use of capitalization and punctuation.

After her death in 1886, Dickinson’s younger sister discovered her cache of poems – Her first collection of poetry, although heavily edited, was published in 1890 by Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Mabel Loomis Todd. A complete and mostly unaltered collection of her poetry became available for the first time in 1955 when “The Poems of Emily Dickinson” was published by Thomas H. Johnson. Although the late 19th and early 20th century brought unfavorable reviews and skepticism as to Dickinson’s literary prowess, she is now almost universally considered to be one of the most important American poets.

From the daguerreotype taken at Mount Holyoke, December 1846 or early 1847. The only authenticated portrait of Emily Dickinson later than childhood, the original is held by the Archives and Special Collections at Amherst College

From the daguerreotype taken at Mount Holyoke, December 1846 or early 1847. The only authenticated portrait of Emily Dickinson later than childhood, the original is held by the Archives and Special Collections at Amherst College

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