One of America's greatest poets, Emily Dickinson, wrote more than 1, 700 short lyric verses, of which only 7 were published in her lifetime. Dickinson was an obsessively private writer and withdrew herself from social contact at the age of 23 and devoted herself into writing. Dickinson's personal life, writing career, personal beliefs, and personal trials are perceived throughout her poems that shape today's modern poetry. Dickinson's work has had a considerable influence on modern poetry. Today, Dickinson's work has contributed her reputation as one of the most innovative poets of the 19-century American literature. Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born in Amherst on December 10, 1830, the second child of Edward and Emily Dickinson.

The Dickinson were an important family in Amherst. Her father was an orthodox Calvinist, a lawyer and treasurer of Amherst College, and he also served in Congress. As a parent, her father was known to be short tempered and harsh. '...

and Father, too busy with his Briefs to notice what I do-He buys me many Books-but begs me not to read them-because he fears they joggle the Mind' (Eliot 452). However, when her father died in 1874, Emily was deeply distressed. A year later, her mother became diagnosed with paralysis and became sick for the rest of her life. Mrs. Dickinson died in November 1882. Emily attended school at Amherst Academy, studying Latin, French, history, rhetoric, botany, geology, and mental philosophy.

She then attended Mount Holyoke Female Seminary at South Hadley where she engaged more in the tangible study of history, chemistry, Latin, physiology, and English grammar. Her official education became deprived because of her constant illness and poor health. Her life was lived entirely in a small New England circle, in which Amherst was the center. Emily did not explore; she saw what could be seen from her window, from her garden, from next door, and sometimes from the church. She chose to live this way and this way took over and became the rest of her life. She was considered odd, reticent, and private.

If she was a lonely girl, loneliness was her choice. Sometimes she thought as isolation as her fate. It might almost be said that Dickinson did not suffer loneliness, but demanded it. Emily Dickinson ran her life at Amherst moving between the kitchen, the garden, and her room.

She baked bread, made puddings, attended her knitting, sent messages next door, and wrote hundreds of poems.