Lesson 3: Emulating Emily Dickinson: Poetry Writing

Long perceived as a recluse who wrote purely in isolation, Emily Dickinson in reality maintained many dynamic correspondences throughout her lifetime and specifically sought out dialogues on her poetry. These correspondences—both professional and private—reveal a poet keenly aware of the interdependent relationship between poet and reader. In this lesson, students closely examine Dickinson’s poem “There’s a certain slant of light” in order to understand her craft. Students explore different components of Dickinson’s poetry and then practice their own critical and poetry writing skills in an emulation exercise. Finally, in the spirit of Dickinson’s correspondences, students will exchange their poems and offer informed critiques of each others’ work.

For a complete introduction to the three lessons in this curriculum unit, Letters from Emily Dickinson: "Will you be my preceptor?" review the curriculum unit overview.

Guiding Questions

What are some of the stylistic choices that Emily Dickinson uses to create a sense of mood and voice in her poem, “There’s a certain slant of light”?

Learning Objectives

After completing this lesson, students will be able to recognize Emily Dickinson's poetic style

Engage in textual analysis and critical thinking of Dickinson’s poem “There’s a certain Slant of light”

Use imaginative writing techniques for creative and critical purposes