Emily Dickinson (1830-86) recasts British-Romantic themes of natural and spiritual perception for an American audience. Her poems of science and techlogy reflect her faith in experience. Her lyrics about natural history build on this empiricism and develop her commitment to natural religion. Her poems of revealed religion constitute her experience of faith. Thus Dickinson stands on the experiential common ground between empiricism and evangelicalism in Romantic Anglo-America. Her double perspective parallels the implicit androgyny of her nineteenth-century feminism. Her counterintuitive combination of natural models with spiritual metaphors champions immortality. The experience/faith dialectic of her Late-Romantic imagination forms the heart of her legacy.
Richard E. Brantley is Alumni Professor of English, Emeritus, at the University of Florida, USA.