The Language of Emily Dickinson

The Language of Emily Dickinson


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The Language of Emily Dickinson provides valuable insight into the cryptic, complex, and unique language of America’s premier poet. The essays make each subject of exploration accessible to general readers, providing sufficient background and contextual information to situate anyone interested in a better understanding of Dickinson’s language. The collection also makes a substantial contribution to Dickinson studies with new scholarship in philology, musicality, and manuscript study. Cynthia L. Hallen, creator of the invaluable Emily Dickinson Lexicon, offers a detailed examination of Dickinson’s words and phrases that are lexically alive and semantically vital. Nicole Panizza, an accomplished pianist, explores Dickinson’s poetic relationship with music as bilingual practice. Holly L. Norton outlines the surprising connections between Dickinson’s poetry and rap music, and Trisha Kannan contributes to recent discussions regarding Dickinson’s fascicles, the manuscript “books” that contain just over 800 of Dickinson’s 1,789 poems, by reading Fascicle 30 in relation to the work and life of John Keats.

This book will be of interest to scholars of Emily Dickinson and advanced readers of poetry—such as those in upper-level undergraduate English courses and graduate students in departments of English—as well as to general readers with an interest in Emily Dickinson.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781648890154
Publisher: Vernon Art and Science
Publication date: 09/11/2020
Series: Series in Literary Studies
Pages: 164
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.44(d)

About the Author

Nicole Panizza was awarded her Doctor of Music degree in 2014 from the Royal College of Music, London, and currently holds the position of Assistant Professor of Music at Coventry University. She is a past recipient of an International Fulbright Award in support of visiting research fellowships at Harvard University and the Manhattan School of Music. Professor Panizza released Nature with soprano Jane Sheldon in 2014 and has since traveled widely, giving key lectures and presentations in Singapore, Oxford, and Cambridge, and chamber recitals worldwide, in cities like Vancouver, New York, and Paris. Emergence: Emily Dickinson, released in 2019, is a collaboration with soprano Nadine Benjamin that features both seminal and premiere performances of Dickinson-inspired song cycles by Aaron Copland, Juliana Hall, Ella Jarman-Pinto, and Luigi Zaninelli. Professor Panizza's additional research interests include a digital archive showcasing practice-led approaches to the performance and study of Dickinson's poetry and letters, and an international song project (in conjunction with Harvard University) showcasing critical examples of American war, memoriam, and remembrance.

Trisha Kannan received her PhD in English from the University of Florida in 2011. Her dissertation, The Publics of Emily Dickinson, examines the discursive publics created by Dickinson's texts, including the printed periodical poems, the letters and letter-poems, and the fascicles. Her article, "Not 'me - but a supposed person': Emily Dickinson's Non-Referential Correspondence," appeared in the first volume of Authorship, an international journal exploring historical and discursive settings of authorship. Dr. Kannan left academia in 2013 to pursue a career in writing and editing, and she now owns and operates Concision Matters, an assessment and curriculum development company that serves students and teachers nationwide.

Table of Contents

List of Tables

List of Figures



Chapter 1 Dickinson’s Breath of Life

Cynthia L. Hallen

Brigham Young University


Emily Dickinson and Noah Webster’s Collocations

A Digital Account of Emily Dickinson’s Nouns

Emily Dickinson’s Person Names

Emily Dickinson’s Kennings

Metonymy in Emily Dickinson’s Verse

Love, Light, and the Breath of Life

Appendix A:

Appendix B

Appendix C

Appendix D

Works Cited

Further Reading

Chapter 2 “Syllables of Velvet, Sentences of Plush”: Emily Dickinson as Polyglot

Nicole Panizza

Coventry University


Spatial Improvisations – Emily Dickinson’s “Lyric


Dickinson’s Music Training

Dickinson’s Music-Making in the Home

Bilingual Practice

“In adequate Music there is a Major and a Minor”

“I can improvise better at night” – Emily Dickinson’s “riffs”

Works Cited

Chapter 3 The Notorious E.E.D.: Rap in the Poems of Emily Dickinson

Holly Norton

University of Northwestern Ohio


Works Cited

Chapter 4 “Some seek in Art –”: Language and Literary Influence in Fascicle 30

Trisha Kannan

Independent Scholar

Abstract 119

What Are the Fascicles?

Fascicle 30 and Literary Influence

Sheet Four: Immortal Poets and Sources of Inspiration

Sheet Five: Poems of Nature and Experience

Sheet Six: The Power of Pain

Sheet One: Nature’s Ephemeral Beauty

Sheet Two: Poetic Inspiration and the Power of Language

Sheet Three: The Power of Failure


Works Cited

Further Reading


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