You are not currently logged in. Please create an account or log in to view the full course.

The Poetry of Emily Dickinson

3. The Explorer

This is the course trailer. Please create an account or log in to view this lecture.

  • Description
  • Cite

About this Lecture


In this module, we explore the themes of journeys and exploration in Dickinson's poetry, looking in particular at her poems 'There is no Frigate like a Book' (1263), 'They shut me up in Prose —' (613), and 'All overgrown by cunning moss' (148).


In this course, Dr Páraic Finnerty (University of Portsmouth) explores the poetry Emily Dickinson. In the first module, we think about the figure of the poet herself, exploring some of the reasons why Dickinson refused to play the role of the public poet. After that, in the second module, we think about the figure of the reader, focusing on Dickinson's subversion of the traditional relationship between (active) poet and (passive) reader. In the third module, we focus on the way in which Dickinson uses imagery of travel and exploration to demonstrate the global reach of (her) poetry, before turning in the fourth module to explore some of Dickinson's Civil War poetry and her interest in adopting personae when writing her poetry, much like Browning had done in his Dramatic Lyrics. In the fifth module, we think about Dickinson's response to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, before moving in the sixth and final module to explore the theme of immortality, both personal and literary.


Dr Páraic Finnerty is Reader in English and American Literature at the University of Portsmouth. His central research interests are American literature and transatlantic literary relations. His first book, Emily Dickinson’s Shakespeare (2006), examines Shakespeare’s reception in nineteenth-century America and locates Dickinson’s allusions to his writings in this context. His second book, Dickinson and her British Contemporaries, will explore connections between Dickinson’s writings and the poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, Alfred Tennyson, the Brontës, and George Eliot.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Finnerty, P. (2018, August 15). The Poetry of Emily Dickinson - The Explorer [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Finnerty, P. "The Poetry of Emily Dickinson – The Explorer." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,