How Did Emily Dickinson Change Poetry


Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1830 and died in 1886. She wrote over 1700 poems and is widely considered one of the most influential poets in the English language. Despite her long-lasting impact, Dickinson was virtually unknown by most of her peers during her lifetime. She withdrew from contemporary society and focused instead on her writing. She had limited contact with the outside world, preferring to remain secluded in her home. Dickinson’s poetry is distinguished by its remarkable compression, use of unexpected imagery and unique language. Dickinson’s writing style had its origins in the world around her, yet it was distinct from what was written at the time.

Impact on Poetry

Emily Dickinson’s poetry has significantly impacted the course of literature. It has been described as having a profound influence on modern poetry, both in terms of the techniques used and the themes explored. Innovative features of Dickinson’s poetry include its brevity and abstraction, as each poem is usually only a few lines long. Dickinson’s poems meditate on themes such as love, death and immortality, as well as the experience of being an outsider. She also often used familiar words in unfamiliar ways, reforming and reinterpreting them to convey her message. Her work is an early example of how the power of individual word usage can be used in poetry.

Metric Style

Emily Dickinson’s poetry often revolves around meter, with many of her poems featuring short lines composed in a sort of free verse or blank verse. By using short lines, Dickinson makes the language more powerful, emphasizing the individual words and their meaning. This choice of meter gives the poems an uneven beat, providing a break from the more strict iambic pentameter often used by her contemporaries. Dickinson’s free and short verse also creates an emphasis on the emotion and intensity of her words and allows her to explore deeper themes and ideas.


Emily Dickinson’s poetry was a major influence on the modernist movement of the twentieth century. Her unusual metre and her unorthodox treatment of subject matter opened up new possibilities for poetry. Her work was admired by many of the great poets of the period, including T.S. Eliot who wrote, “no more remarkable body of work has been produced in the age of poetry than that of Emily Dickinson”.
Her influence is still felt in the poetry of today, from the works of Sylvia Plath to the dozens of poets who consider her as a major influence. Her unique style and her thoughtful writing have changed the way people write and think about poetry and has led to a greater appreciation of the power of individual words.

Adaptions and Literary Criticism

Since her death, the popularity of Emily Dickinson’s poetry has increased significantly. Her work has been adapted for film, television, theatre and radio, increasing her reach and impact. Her work has been interpreted and rediscovered by countless scholars and critics, allowing for further depth in Dickinson’s works and offering new perspectives on the poet and her writing.


Emily Dickinson’s legacy lives on in her collection of poetry and the countless writers and poets who have been influenced by her work. Dickinson was largely forgotten by readers during her own lifetime, yet her poetry has remained in the canon of English literature and her influence will be felt for years to come. Her work has left a lasting impact on the world of poetry and will continue to be valued and admired by generations to come.

Conclusion of Dickinson’s Writing

Emily Dickinson’s poetry is distinguished by its power and originality, as well as its remarkable compression and unique language. Dickinson’s writing style had its origins in the world around her, yet it was distinct from what was written at the time. Dickinson’s influence on modern poetry is undeniable, as her innovative techniques and her exploration of thought provoking themes have opened up a world of possibilities for poets and readers alike. Her work has been appreciated and adapted by countless scholars, writers and readers and the legacy of Emily Dickinson’s writing will continue to be valued for years to come.

Minnie Walters is a passionate writer and lover of poetry. She has a deep knowledge and appreciation for the work of famous poets such as William Wordsworth, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and many more. She hopes you will also fall in love with poetry!

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