Emily Dickinson's poems in translation
The aim of this project is to present translations of Emily Dickinson's poems in various languages. Everyone is welcome to join it, especially those who are interested in Dickinson's legacy, as well as literature/poetry students and teachers. In each of the language sections one may find pages devoted to a discussion of a single poem by Dickinson. The pages contain short history of a given poem, its translations available in a particular language along with their interpretations and comparisons to the original poem. Everyone may learn about various analyses of a poem by clicking on the external links provided on every page. One may also have a look at the manuscripts of a poem, as well as a scansion which shows how to read and accentuate it properly.
Short biography of the poet
Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886) was an American poet. Born in Amherst, Massachusetts, to a successful family with strong community ties, she lived a mostly introverted and reclusive life. After she studied at the Amherst Academy for seven years in her youth, she spent a short time at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary before returning to her family's house in Amherst. Considered an eccentric by the locals, she became known for her penchant for white clothing and her reluctance to greet guests or, later in life, even leave her room. Most of her friendships were therefore carried out by correspondence.
While Dickinson was a prolific private poet, fewer than a dozen of her nearly 1,800 poems were published during her lifetime. The work that was published during her lifetime was usually altered significantly by the publishers to fit the conventional poetic rules of the time. Dickinson's 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 capitalization and punctuation. Many of her poems deal with themes of death and immortality, two recurring topics in letters to her friends.
Although most of her acquaintances were probably aware of Dickinson's writing, it was not until after her death in 1886—when Lavinia, Dickinson's younger sister, discovered her cache of poems—that the breadth of Dickinson's work became apparent. Her first collection of poetry was published in 1890 by personal acquaintances Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Mabel Loomis Todd, both of whom heavily edited the content. A complete and mostly unaltered collection of her poetry became available for the first time in 1955 when scholar Thomas H. Johnson published The Poems of Emily Dickinson. Despite some unfavorable reviews and some skepticism during the late 19th and early 20th century about Dickinson's literary prowess, Dickinson is now almost universally considered to be one of the most important American poets.
- Sources differ as to the number of poems that were published, but most put it between seven and ten.
- McNeil (1986), 2.
- Bloom (1999), 9
- Ford (1966), 122