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The Poetry of Emily Dickinson

5. The Woman Poet

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About this Lecture


In this module, we look at Dickinson's response to her fellow writers and poets, especially Elizabeth Barrett Browning. In particular, we read Dickinson's poem 'I think I was enchanted' (593) alongside Barrett Browning's 'Aurora Leigh'.


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 Woman Poet [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

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