Why were so few of Dickinson's poems published in her lifetime?
a. she did not like editors
b. publication did not seem very important to her
c. her family did not think it was appropriate
d. editors did not appreciate the poetry she submitted
e. reader reacted negatively to her published work
There were many reasons why very few of Emily Dickinson’s poems appeared while she was still alive. Her poems were extremely unusual for her period in syntax, style, approach, and punctuation, making them unlikely to appeal to a general readership. Unlike poets like Felicia Hemans and Letitia Elizabeth Landon, who were earning their living by writing, Dickinson had no need to publish for money. Rather than submit to editors, she sent poems to Thomas Wentworth Higginson who advised her not to publish them. Although she sent poems around to friends and acquaintances, she only published 7 in her lifetime. The reason for this was a combination of her own reluctance to submit her poems, her unwillingness to revise them in a manner which would make them more readily publishable, and the idiosyncratic nature of the poems making them unacceptable to prevailing tastes.