My Life Closed Twice Before Its Close Essay

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Jeannine Johnson currently teaches writing and literature atHarvard University. She has also taught at Yale, from which she received her Ph.D., and atWake Forest University. Her most recent essay is on Adrienne Rich's "To a Poet, " published in the Explicator. In the following essay, Johnson discusses Dickinson's vision of isolation in "My Life Closed Twice before Its Close."

"A letter always feels to me like Immortality because it is the mind alone without corporeal friend" {The Letters of Emily Dickinson). When Emily Dickinson wrote these lines to the author and editor Thomas Wentworth Higginson, she might as well have been describing the nature of her poetry. Dickinson reveals that a letter provides her a link with "immortality," which in this context does not mean life after death but a sense of infinitude in this life. The "friend" to whom she writes is not physically present and thus...

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This section contains 1,586 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the My Life Closed Twice Before Its Close Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
My Life Closed Twice Before Its Close from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.