EMILY DICKINSON: COMPARISON OF TWO POEMS, NATURE, BIOGRAPHY AND INFLUENCES.
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) wrote over 2,000 poems during her life in Amherst, Massachusetts, but only seven were published while she was still alive. After her death, her poems were classified and published. Dickinson was influenced by the religion of her father, the impact of the Civil War, and nature. A look at two poems from her Nature class shows how Dickinson combines all of these symbolic elements to show a time of loneliness, longing and false hope. Although the poems describe a time in nature when summer is just out of reach, the meanings run much deeper for Dickinson and her readers, as for her summer is a time of life, success and happiness which has been lost.
After Dickinson's death her poems were classified by her friends and editors into four classes: Friends, Nature, Love and Death. Two poems from her Nature class "Further in summer than the birds" (Dickinson 1068) and "These are the days when birds come back" (Dickinson 130) begin with the mention of birds, a common theme within her work. Regardless of the presence of her familiar subject, birds, these poems, however, are not about birds, but loss, false reasoning, and loneliness. .
In "Further in summer than the birds", Dickinson writes that a minor nation celebrates, which no doubt indicates the Civil War, which greatly impacted Dickinson's writing. While no order is seen to those who are not participating in the war, its presence nevertheless is always felt by Dickinson as she writes that "A pensive custom it becomes / Enlarging loneliness" (Dickinson 1068). For Dickinson, who always respected nature within her work, this poem seems to indicate that for her, the end of August, which has "no furrow on the glow" is a sad time yet a "druidic difference / Enhances nature now" indicates a change and difference, which also has its own merits.