Emily Dickinson Questions and Answers

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What is the significance of nature in Emily Dickinson's poems?

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Dickinson's view of nature in her poetry can be examined through two of her poems regarding this subject: "Nature is what we see" and "Nature, the Gentlest Mother."

In "Nature is what we see," Dickinson expresses a dichotomy regarding nature: it is both simple and wondrously complex. On one hand, it surrounds us daily and through a multi-sensory approach. We see squirrels and bees. We hear the sea and thunder. Nature provides humans with a harmony; it allows for peace. Yet with all of our humanly "wisdom," we lack the ability to adequately convey the truths we know about nature. It stirs things within our souls that cannot be adequately conveyed in words, even for a poet who masterfully put emotions down on paper.

In "Nature, the Gentlest Mother," nature is seen as a protector, even over the "wayward" of humanity. Nature also interacts with humanity, whether that comes through the "impetuous bird" or the way she bends from the sky to "light her lamps" so that humans can guide themselves...

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noelle3366 | Student

In addition to what was already given as an answer, Emily Dickenson was a shut in. She lived in her bedroom, upstairs, fearing the outside. Perhaps this led to a hightened sense and a love of nature. She would roll up her poems, creating little scrolls tied up by ribbon and fill a basket with them. She would then lower the basket down, using a rope, to children down below. The children would take the poems in exchange for flowers. She would then pull the basket back up to her window.