My Life Closed Twice Before Its Close Essay

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Aviya Kushner, the poetry editor for Neworld Renaissance Magazine, earned an M.A. in creative writing fromBoston University. In the following essay, Kushner elaborates on the quality of mystery found in the poem.

Many details of Emily Dickinson's life remain a mystery, from what she looked like as an adult to the nature of her love life. Similarly, mystery is a major part of her immensely accomplished, spare, and often easy-to-memorize poetry. Riddles, secrets, and lines which can be read in at least three ways abound. What's more, Dickinson's distinctive poetry is filled with dashes which hang, leaving the breathless and sometimes baffled reader to fill in the mysterious black blanks.

"My Life Closed Twice Before Its Close" is a typical Dickinson mystery—a tight package waiting to be unraveled. Clearly, as every child learns, a person dies only once. But as a quick thumbing through her copious...

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This section contains 1,152 words
(approx. 3 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.