Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was an American poet. Born in Amherst, Massachusetts, to a successful family with strong community ties, she lived a mostly introverted and reclusive life. After she studied at the Amherst Academy for seven years in her youth, she spent a short time at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary before returning to her family's house in Amherst. Thought of as an eccentric by the locals, she became known for her penchant for white clothing and her reluctance to greet guests or, later in life, even leave her room. Most of her friendships were therefore carried out by correspondence.
Although Dickinson was a prolific private poet, fewer than a dozen of her nearly eighteen... more » Click here to add this poet to your My Favorite Poets.
Newton likely introduced her to the writings of William Wordsworth , and his gift to her of Ralph Waldo Emerson 's first book of collected poems had a liberating effect. She wrote later that he, "whose name my Father's Law Student taught me, has touched the secret Spring".  Newton held her in high regard, believing in and recognizing her as a poet. When he was dying of tuberculosis , he wrote to her, saying that he would like to live until she achieved the greatness he foresaw.  Biographers believe that Dickinson's statement of 1862—"When a little Girl, I had a friend, who taught me Immortality – but venturing too near, himself – he never returned"—refers to Newton.