Would you apply biographical or historical critical methods to poems by Emily Dickinson? Support your choice by referring to one of her poems.
I think that one has to be careful of applying too much biographical information to the work of poets. Yet, I believe that one can engage in a greater study of Dickinson the poet through understanding more of Dickinson the person. Her relationship with death is a fascinating one. Her poetry did not reflect an overwhelming fear of it. There is little to suggest this in poems like, "Because I did not stop for death." Yet, there was much sadness in her life in relation to death, and in particular, watching people whom she loved die, triggering a depression and seclusion from people. She confessed this to friends:
... some of my friends are gone, and some of my friends are sleeping – sleeping the churchyard sleep – the hour of evening is sad – it was once my study hour – my master has gone to rest, and the open leaf of the book, and the scholar at school alone, make the tears come, and I cannot brush them away; I would not if I could, for they are the only tribute I can pay the departed Humphrey.
The relationship between Dickinson and death is an interesting one. It is a topic that is revealed in her poetry. For example, study how she depicts death in "Because I could not stop for death." In conjunction with the sadness that death's visit caused her, I think that it would be an interesting biographical analysis that can reveal much about her literary work.