Walking through a map of Emily Dickinson’s life was surprisingly informative. The tour focused primarily on Dickinson’s love life and used the people she was closest with to stand aside her inspired work. Dickinson was a classic Catholic school girl, but she struggled maintaining the perfect holy image. She was deemed a “no hoper” and soon left college. Her newly strained relationship with her brother had her worried in early letters. She cared about the relationships she had and in one specific part of the exhibit, I learned that Dickinson said life was heaven on earth. She was unsure about after life and wanted to make edits in the bible, but she valued her life and thought that was actual heaven.
Seeing how she valued life and used people that were in her life to fuel her life passion of poetry inspired me. I understood that life is not supposed to be stressful; it is supposed to be enjoyed. The fact that there were more pictures of Emily’s friends formed a better understanding of her friendly and lively personality. These people meant enough to send her hard work, showing she valued her friends.
One inclusion of the exhibit that caught my eye was an enlarged image of a newspaper that published an article of Dickinson’s work. Unlike her all her other poems, this one in particular was given a title. Emily did not title her poems and in discussion with the tour guide, we determined that Emily was different. The editors of the newspaper felt the need to shelter the readers from the abstract work of Dickinson by tailoring it to the worlds’ expectations and standards at the time.
I was hoping to see more pictures of the admired poet. It shocked me to see one childhood picture and then to have the tour guide point at a portrait and say that this is presumed to be Dickinson. There was documentation and display of her work but not the author who wrote it. I feel like this, however, created a humble atmosphere. The urbarium and the letters to her friends and brother show her to be a light hearted school girl, happy with life and to have her work treasured long after she is gone with no sense of greed for attention or fame shows she was humble.