Literature: Emily Dickinson’s Poetry with Dr Robert-Louis Abrahamson

Ref: C3533200

Emily Dickinson wrote over 1,700 short poems, only a few of which were published in her lifetime, but her work has become acclaimed as some of the most important and influential poetry of the nineteenth century. The poems challenge us to read them carefully, paying attention to the wit and passion contained in the imagery and in her rebellion against traditional poetic practices. The lively discussions in our weekly sessions draw upon the students variety of backgrounds, everyone working together to share their responses and learn from each other.

Course aim

We read and discuss four or five short poems by Emily Dickinson each week, sharing questions and insights in a friendly, supportive group. There is no need to have participated in earlier Dickinson courses in order to feel at home in the sessions.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • Students should have an interest in poetry, though no previous knowledge of Dickinson's poetry is necessary.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Have an appreciation of Emily Dickinson's poetic techniques and themes
  • Have a wider understanding of the Emily Dickinson's personal and cultural background
  • Have a stronger ability to read challenging poetry with greater attentiveness
  • Share more readily my responses to literature

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

For the purpose of our course, I will be choosing the poems that are collected in the Everyman's Poetry edition, an inexpensive but reliable edition, edited by Helen McNeil. The text of each week's poems will also appear on the weekly Announcements on our Canvas site.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Literature: Emily Dickinson’s Poetry with Dr Robert-Louis Abrahamson

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This course is only available as part of this programme.


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  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
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