Edited by Peter Iver Kaufman and Kristin M.S. Bezio
Chapter 5: Emily Dickinson’s civil war: the poet as an agent of cultural change
The fifth chapter addresses a figure of cultural leadership who was largely isolated from her own culture, but whose work has come to reshape the face of American poetry: Emily Dickinson. Clark Gilpin argues that Dickinson’s poetry, known for its unconventional spelling, punctuation and style, was a direct response to the formative chaos of the American Civil War. Through her radical style, Dickinson demarcates the before-and-after of American identity relative to the Civil War and initiates a new American cultural period.
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