Ralph Waldo Emerson “Letter to walt whitman 1855” Literary discussion animation


Heres a virtual movie of the great Ralph Waldo Emerson reading legendary letter of support to the equaly great Walt Whitman. The letter was written in Concord, Massachusetts, 21 July, 1855. Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, philosopher and poet, best remembered for leading the Transcendentalist movement of the early 19th century. His teachings directly influenced the growing New Thought movement of the mid 1800s, while he was seen as a champion of individualism and prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society. Walter Whitman (May 31, 1819 March 26, 1892) was an American poet, essayist, journalist, and humanist. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon Walt Whitman, who was born on this date (May 31) in 1819, altered the direction of American literature when he introduced his first collection of poetry, the initial 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass, which contained a dozen untitled pieces and a preface. As Harold Bloom has stated: Whitman founded what is uniquely American in our imaginative literature. Upon publication of the book, Whitman sent a copy to Ralph Waldo Emerson, the nations leading literary figure, and Emerson responded with the following letter of welcome and congratulations, perhaps the most famous and most important item of correspondence in the history of American literature: When Whitman published his second edition of Leaves of Grass in 1856, now consisting of 32 poems, he

Integrative Medical Discussion Group (Part 2)


The Integrative Medical Discussion Group (IMDG) became an initiative at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) in May 2006. Deb Davies, L.Ac. patterned this group after UCSDs HI-Med (Holistic Integrative Medical) group. The concept of IMDG is to join on a regular basis (every other month), current and future doctors of both eastern and western backgrounds, who are interested in integrative medicine These enlightened discussions include good food and a pleasant atmosphere.

A Discussion of the Metaphysical Properties of Crystal Quartz: One of the True Birthstones of Capricorn Astrology

Welcome to the New Year 2010! I assume you found your very own personally satisfying way to ring in the New Year and enjoyed the stillness of the days between the years. It reminds me to the miracle of our breath. There is always this moment of stillness between the in an out of the breath reversing its course. This stillness carries the promise of life with its renewal and potential.

I took the week off my usual activities and allowed myself to slow down and relish the change of pace into the realm of contemplation, time with my friends and reorienting myself for the New Year. Looking backwards I was really surprised to realize how much I have accomplished last year even if it didn’t feel that way first. Now I feel recharged and inspired to take action towards the manifestation of my insights and new goals I have set for myself.

The Highlights for the Week:

We still have 4 planets in Capricorn additionally to the North Node. Mercury is still retrograde as well as Mars. Moon is moving through Virgo, Libra, Scorpio and into Sagittarius

So I will take this opportunity of this lull to present this month Sun sign Capricorn in more depth with the extra information about the true birthstone for Capricorns.

It seems like we are getting a little extension of time with inward focus with the two retrograde planets Mars and Mercury. It is a chance to delight in rethinking (Mercury) our life’s direction and fine tuning (Mars) our intentions, inner strength and will power into the new direction. All the planning and taking a new aim in your life will do nothing for you without the willingness to take steps towards implementing action from that place of inspiration. And Capricorn is a great ally for that.

Capricorn: The Conservative Pragmatist

Capricorn is a feminine earth sign ruled by Saturn. Their home is the 10th House—Public Image, Career, & Destiny.

As you move through the zodiac you will notice that the qualities of the signs reflect a process of evolution from self-centered toward greater social consciousness and responsibility. Saturn is associated with social order (rules, laws), duty, concrete reality, and the material world.

Capricorns seek to be in visible positions of power and prestige in society. Their high degree of organization, discipline, ambition, and intelligence make them perfect as leaders of organizations of all types, in government, business, and the military. Their conservative values and black-and-white thinking can make them inflexible with respect to morality. They are bent on success, holding high standards for themselves and others.

The influence of Saturn, the earth element, and the position in the last quarter of the zodiac make Capricorns practical, organized, controlled, self-disciplined, and conservative. “Ambition” is the keyword for this sign. Capricorns have a strong need for status and material success. They are hard workers with high career ambitions who do best in positions of authority, without supervision. They go about their goals step by step, overcoming each hurdle, and don’t give up until they’ve reached the top. They excel at hierarchical planning. They are usually financially successful.

Capricorns may appear reserved in relationships, but once committed they make loyal and reliable friends and partners. Still, their careers take precedence in their lives.

The Dark Side of Capricorn

Because Capricorns are so driven, self-disciplined, and controlling, it is hard for them to relax into the benevolence of life, trusting the flow of life and its ultimate goodness. Due to the rule of Saturn, there is an element of contraction and fear that urges the Capricorn to be continually in action and in control. It is very important for Capricorns to take time out of their busy lives and allow time for relaxation, introspection, and inner peace. Only then will they be in balance.

Bringing Light into the Darkness

It is very helpful for Capricorns to practice some form of meditation, Tai Chi, or yoga to slow down their mental activity and anxiety. Meditation with gemstones, especially Crystal Quartz, will especially appeal to Capricorns’ practical and concrete nature—it’s simply a matter of lying down and placing one or several stones on your body.
I have written two other articles about crystals and their amazing qualities: 1. Using Quartz Crystals and the Law of Attraction and 2. Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Crystal Quartz and Its Practical Applications.
Crystal Quartz is the perfect stone to bring consciousness and light into our lives, helping us to gain clarity, insight, and a higher perspective on life.

How Gemstones Can Enhance Your Capricorn Experience

Gemstones are the perfect way for Capricorns to both focus on their goals, and to bring more emotional and spiritual balance into their regimented lives.

Gemstones have both physical and metaphysical qualities that can enhance all aspects of your well-being. The perfectly aligned crystal structure of gemstones creates an energy field that interacts with our own when you hold it or wear it on your body. In this way, the gemstone can be used to calm you, bring you mental clarity, increase your energy, enhance your creativity, and much more.

Astrology and Gemstones

Astrological principles manifest at all levels of creation, from the largest bodies in the cosmos to the tiniest particles of atoms—all are part of the same network of universal energy. Based on the hermetic principle “As above, so below,” those universal principles allow us to read relations among the planets and extrapolate those principles to things here on Earth, to events in our lives, as well as to our natural environment. The universal principles that govern the planets are also seen on the much smaller level of gemstones, crystals, and metals.

The Signature of Gemstones

Each gemstone is associated with specific planets. You are already aware that each planet has its own personality in astrology. And each gemstone has a personal “signature”—specific metaphysical qualities, different for each stone, that arise from the stone’s association with its planets based on their individual color, crystal structure as well as the chemical composition.

In this article we will talk about one of the true birthstones for Capricorn which is Crystal Quartz. You can find more articles on true birthstones in my birthstone series for the other astrological signs of the zodiac on my website.

How to Make Gemstones Work for You

By considering the individual signature of gemstones, you can select the right gems for very specific purposes, according to their astrological qualities.

Gemstones can be used in three different ways:

They are precious objects of beauty that may hold a special meaning for us. We enjoy their beauty by giving them a special place on a shelf, desk, or altar. They can be used in meditation by tuning into their frequency for the purpose of balancing our energy field. They can be made into jewelry pieces for our pleasure, enhancing our individual expression of beauty and sense of empowerment. I call those pieces of power Soul Jewelry.


Crystal Quartz: Your Guide to Higher States of Consciousness [1]

“ Crystal Quartz is one of the true gemstones of Capricorn. This is one of the most common and well-known crystals in the world, found virtually everywhere on the planet. It is composed of silicon dioxide and forms six-sided hexagonal prisms.

The word crystal derives from the Greek krystallos, meaning “ice,” as the Greeks believed that quartz was water that was eternally frozen, an image also found in the work of Hildegard von Bingen, a saint and ancient seer of the healing aspects of stones. Ice is a metaphor for the cooling and clear aspects of the crystal.

Quartz is a very sociable being, growing in groups and clusters and very often found together or in close connection with other minerals; thus it teaches us to have close, friendly relationships without loosing our individuality and center.

Like the Diamond, Quartz is very closely connected to our search for light and love, our longing to awaken to a higher state of consciousness, and it is our guide on that quest.

Crystal Quartz: The Manifestation of Light
Crystal Quartz is the manifestation of light, clarity, concentration, and perfect crystallization, a metaphor for our own search for perfection. If you examine a single crystal you will see that as it grows it becomes more and more clearly developed and defined toward the tip. You can also see the six sides of the crystal, corresponding to the first six chakras in the body, with the tip of the crystal corresponding to the crown chakra. In this way Quartz is a perfect mirror for our own process of growth as we move from confused or unenlightened to a state of increasing awareness and clarity on our path to higher consciousness.

Quartz is a good friend, brother, and sister and may have many additional properties, depending on the form of its “face,” or crystal tip. It might enhance our psychic abilities, such as channeling, telepathy, and clairvoyance, or connect us with ancient teachings and spiritual knowledge.

Cleansing your Stone
Although every stone may be said to pick up information by reading vibrations, Quartz is especially sensitive to the environment, absorbing everything around it. So it is very important to program it to do this consciously and to clean it often. This can be done with the help of all the elements and with the conscious state of your mind in combination with rapid, strong exhalations.

Different Forms
A double-terminated crystal (one with two tips on each end), like the Herkimer Diamond sets up an energy flow between the two ends, which act as positive and negative electromagnetic poles, and thus is especially adept at balancing opposites like yin and yang. In a single-pointed crystal the energy rises up from the more clouded bottom toward the clear tip.

A crystal in a spherical form—a crystal ball—gives off a wide, radiant, harmonizing energy field that, depending on the size of the crystal, can fill a whole room with sparkles of light and awareness. Because the sphere is the most perfect form in the universe it brings out its being in the highest form. By directing your thoughts to influence the energies of the crystal, you might program it with your needs and create a very powerful energy field for healing, concentration, or whatever you long for.”

As you can tell, I am very passionate about the potential of healing gems and all the different applications of those enchanting allies to raise your frequency for more balance and joy. I have even written a book about my over 30 years of experience in the fields of healing gemstones, meaningful jewelry, and astrology.

You can learn more about the metaphysical properties of 67 different gemstones through my bookJewelry and Gems for Self-Discovery: Choosing Gemstones that Delight the Eyes & Strengthen the Soul. My book will teach you about astrology and how to read the blueprint of your own chart. If you know where your challenges are, you can then take steps to support and balance yourself with your 12 personal healing gemstones. Jewelry and Gems for Self-Discovery is a treasure chest of ideas about Soul Jewelry— how to select, purchase, and wear jewelry that will enhance your body, heart, mind, and soul.

I wish you an enchanted journey into the mysterious world of healing gemstones and looking at them in a new way! If you enjoyed this article and my perspective on things, I would like to invite you to sign up for my weekly newsletter where I discuss the actual universal astrological forces and the special powers of gemstones and inspire you to use them wisely for a more successful and joyful life.

Aloha and many blessings, Shakti.

Shakti Carola Navran: astrologer, jeweler and author

[1]Adapted from Jewelry and Gems for Self-Discovery: Choosing Gemstones That Delight the Eye & Strengthen the Soul © 2008 by Shakti Carola Navran. Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. 2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125-2989. All rights reserved, used by permission of the publisher.

Shakti Carola Navran is originally from Germany, living in Maui, Hawaii, is a professional jeweler, astrologer and author with a lifelong spiritual journey; she has been crafting personalized Soul Jewelry since 1977.
In her book Jewelry and Gems for Self-Discovery: Choosing Gemstones that Delight the Eyes & Strengthen the Soul she teaches you about how to read your personal horoscope and blue print for your life. Then you will be able to balance yourself in your most important areas with your 12 main healing gemstones, you could call your true birthstones.
Jewelry and Gems for Self-Discovery is a treasure chest of ideas on how to select, purchase, and wear jewelry that will enhance your body, heart, mind, and soul. Find out more about it on her website http://www.JewelryandGemsforSelfdiscovery.com and see her astrological weather report at http://www.jewelryandgemsforselfdiscovery.com/blog/ .

A Discussion of Emily Dickinson’s Poem, Because I Could not Stop for Death

Because I could not stop for Death —
He kindly stopped for me —
The Carriage held but just Ourselves —
And Immortality.

We slowly drove — He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility —

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess — in the Ring —
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain —
We passed the Setting Sun —

Or rather — He passed us —
The Dews drew quivering and chill —
For only Gossamer, my Gown —
My Tippet — only Tulle —

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground —
The Roof was scarcely visible —
The Cornice — in the Ground —

Since then — ’tis Centuries — and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses’ Heads
Were toward Eternity —

Emily Dickinson was an innovative and talented American poet who wrote nearly 1800 poems during her brief lifetime from 1830 to 1886. Dickinson became publicly well known as a poet only after her death because she chose to publish only a very small number of her poems, somewhere between seven and twelve, during her lifetime.

Emily Dickinson’s Life

Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, to a well known family. Her grandfather helped to found Amherst College and her father, a lawyer, served for numerous years in the Massachusetts legislature and in the United States Congress. Dickinson had a one year older brother and a three years younger sister.

As a young girl and teenager Dickinson acquired many friends, some lasting a lifetime, received approval and attention from her father, and behaved fittingly for a girl during the Victorian era. She received a classical education from the Amherst Academy and was required by her father to read the Bible. Though she attended church regularly only for a few years, her Christian foundation remained strong throughout her life.

Dickinson attended nearby Mount Holyoke College for only one year, due to numerous reasons, and then was brought back home by her brother, Austin. The Dickinson family lived in a home overlooking the town’s cemetery, where she is buried, for a few years before moving into the home her grandfather had built, called “The Homestead.”

At home in Amherst, Dickinson became a capable housekeeper, cook, and gardener. She attended local events, became friends with some of her fathers’ acquaintances, and read a number of books given to her by her friends and her brother. Most books had to be smuggled into the home for fear that her father would disapprove of them.

Emily Dickinson enjoyed the writings of an impressive list of contemporaries such as Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Longfellow, Whittier, Lowell, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. She also read from the Victorians, Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Thomas Carlyle, and George Eliot, and the Romantic poet Lord Byron. She also loved “David Copperfield” by Charles Dickens. When she discovered Shakespeare she asked, “Why is any other book needed?” In her home she hung portraits of Eliot, Browning, and Carlyle.

Dickinson grew more reclusive into the 1850’s. She began writing poems and received favorable response from her friends. Throughout the rest of her life she adopted the friendly practice of giving poems to her friends and bouquets of flowers from her garden. Her garden was so varied and well-cared that she was better known as a gardener than a poet.

During the Civil War years of the early 1860’s, Emily Dickinson wrote more than 800 poems, the most prolific writing period of her life. During this period Dickinson saw the death of several friends, a teacher, and the declining health of her mother who she had to tend closely. These unhappy events saddened Dickinson and led her to treat the subject of death in many of her poems.

Following the Civil War and for the remaining 20 years of her life, Dickinson rarely left the property limits of The Homestead. Her father, mother, and sister Lavinia all lived with her at home, and her brother lived next door at The Evergreens with his wife, Susan, a longtime friend to Emily, and their children. She enjoyed the company of her family and wrote often to her friends, but residents of Amherst only knew her as the “woman in white” when they infrequently saw her greeting visitors.

After several friends, a nephew, and her parents died, Dickinson wrote fewer and fewer poems and stopped organizing them, as she had been doing for many years. She wrote that, “the dyings have been too deep for me.” Dickinson developed a kidney disease which she suffered from for the remaining two years of her life. The final short letter that she wrote to her cousins read, “Little Cousins, Called Back. Emily.”

Characteristics of Dickinson’s Poetry

Emily Dickinson’s sister, Lavinia, gathered Emily’s poems and published them in 1890. Editors changed some of her words, punctuations, and capitalizations to make them conform to a certain standard. Later editions restored Dickinson’s unique style and organized them in a roughly chronological order.

Emily Dickinson’s poems have many identifiable features. Her poems have been memorized, enjoyed, and discussed since their first publication. Many critics consider her to have been extraordinarily gifted in her abilities to create concise, meaningful, and memorable poems.

The major themes in her poetry include Friends, Nature, Love, and Death. Not surprisingly, she also refers to flowers often in her poems. Many of her poems’ allusions come from her education in the Bible, classical mythology, and Shakespeare.

Dickinson did not give titles to her poems, an unusual feature. Others have given titles to some of her poems, and often the first line of the poem is used as a title.

She wrote short lines, preferring to be concise in her images and references. A study of her letters to friends and mentors shows that her prose style was composed of short iambic phrases, making her prose very similar to her poetry.

Dickinson’s poems are generally short in length, rarely consisting of more than six stanzas, as in “Because I Could Not Stop for Death.” Many of her poems are only one or two stanzas in length. The stanzas are quatrains of four lines. Some poems have stanzas of three or two lines.

The rhythm in many of her poems is called common meter or ballad meter. Both types of meter consist of a quatrain with the first and third lines having four iambic feet and the second and fourth lines having three iambic feet. The iambic foot is a unit of two syllables with the first syllable unstressed and the second syllable stressed.

In her quatrains the rhyme scheme is most often abcb, where only the second and fourth lines rhyme. Such a rhyme scheme is typical of a ballad meter.

Many other poems are written in a meter that is typical of English hymns. This rhythm pattern is characterized by quatrains where lines one, two, and four are written in iambic trimeter and the third line is written in iambic tetrameter.

Often her rhymes are near rhymes or slant rhymes. A near rhyme means that the two rhyming words do not rhyme exactly. They only make a near match.

In Dickinson’s poems, capitalizations and punctuations are unorthodox. She regularly capitalized the nouns but sometimes she was inconsistent and a few nouns were not capitalized. For punctuation, she frequently used a dash instead of a comma or a period, and sometimes she used a dash to separate phrases within a line. Some editions of her poems have attempted to correct the punctuation of her poems.

A dozen or more composers have set Dickinson’s poems to music, including Aaron Copland who produced “Twelve Songs on Poems of Emily Dickinson” in 1951. 0ne of the interesting ways to treat some of Dickinson’s most famous poems, often learned in school, is to sing them to the tune of “Amazing Grace,” or “The Yellow Rose of Texas, or most humorously, the theme to “Gilligan’s Island.”

Because I Could Not Stop for Death

“Because I Could Not Stop for Death” is a brilliant poem, well constructed, easily understood, and filled with many poetic conventions. The first stanza is often quoted alone and represents one of the most inspired quatrains in American poetry.

In the first stanza Dickinson has created a wonderful metaphor that is carried throughout the poem. She has personified death, giving him a name, a conveyance, and a companion. The presence of Immortality in the carriage softens the idea of the arrival of Death. And the fact that He kindly stopped is both a reassurance that his arrival was not unpleasant and an expression of the poet’s wit. It is ironic in a humorous way to imagine Death being kind. The speaker in the poem is speaking of an event that happened in the past, another reassurance that there is survival after death. Dickinson’s Christian view of eternity and the immortality of life are evident in these stanzas.

The second stanza is about Death arriving slowly such as the result of a disease, which in fact Dickinson did succumb to at the end of her life. Again, there is an ironic reference to Death, this time to his civility, which rhymes with “immortality” from the first stanza and ties the two stanzas together. Notice that there are a couple of examples of alliteration, one in the first line with “knew no,” and another in the third line with “labor” and “leisure.”

The third stanza gives a picture of the journey. The children and the school in the first line refer to early life. The fields of ripening grain in the third line refer to life’s middle stage. Finally, the setting sun in the fourth line refers to the final stage of life. Notice the use of anaphora to effectively tie all of the stages of life together. The repetition of the phrase, “we passed,” at the beginning of the lines is known as anaphora. There is also a pleasant example of alliteration in the second line, “recess” and “ring.”

The fourth stanza contains two more examples of effective alliteration and creates the image of a person who is not dressed appropriately for a funeral. In fact, the gossamer gown is more like a wedding dress, which represents a new beginning rather than an end. Notice also the near rhyme in this stanza as well as in several other stanzas. Oddly, this stanza was not included in early editions of Dickinson’s poems; however it appears in all of the more recent editions.

The grave or tomb is described in the fifth stanza as a house. The description indicates that the poet feels at ease with the location. The last stanza indicates that centuries have passed, though ironically it seems shorter than the day. The “horses’ heads” is a comfortable alliteration and ties the vision back to the first stanza. The final word, “eternity,” which rhymes with “immortality” in the first stanza also brings all of the stanzas together and brings the poem to a calm close.

Garry Gamber is a public school teacher and entrepreneur. He writes articles about politics, real estate, home businesses, poetry, and books. He is the National Director of Good Politics Radio and the owner of The Dating Advisor.com.

A Discussion of the Poem, You Left Me, by Emily Dickinson

You left me, sweet, two legacies, –
A legacy of love
A Heavenly Father would content,
Had He the offer of;

You left me boundaries of pain
Capacious as the sea,
Between eternity and time,
Your consciousness and me.

The Poem

“You Left Me” is an amazingly concise poem. It communicates two immense ideas in the short space of two four-line stanzas.

Clearly, Emily Dickinson wrote the poem about somebody that was dear to her. It’s not clear whether the poem is about somebody who is far away or is about somebody who has died. Both were common in her life. The enduring nature of the poem is such that its meaning is consistent with either case and also consistent with additional cases where there is a physical or emotional separation between two people.

Chronologically, the poem was probably written in 1862, during the period of Dickinson’s most intense writing. In 1862 she wrote about 366 poems.

Her dear friend, Reverend Charles Wadsworth, left for San Francisco in 1862, and he is most likely the subject of the poem. Dickinson met him in Philadelphia in 1855 and only met him in person on two other occasions, including his visit to see her just before he left for San Francisco. However, her emotional attachment to Wadsworth remained strong for the rest of her life and she wrote him many letters. She called him her “dearest earthly friend.” Unfortunately, most of her letters to Wadsworth have not survived, and his letters to her were burned, at her request, after her death.

The first stanza of the poem, “You Left Me,” tells of being left with a deep love, one that even the Heavenly Father would be content with. That’s an impressive statement and makes any further description unnecessary.

The second stanza talks about an emptiness that has been left. It’s obviously a huge pain, as big as the sea and compared to eternity. This legacy stands as a significant contrast to the legacy described in the first stanza.

A third stanza to tie everything together into a conclusion was not written. The last line of the second stanza, “Your consciousness and me,” seems to sufficiently bring the reader back from the two huge ideas just presented to the groundedness of the consciousness of two real people.

The stanzas are written very formally with a ballad meter, iambic tetrameter followed by iambic trimeter. The rhyme is also very precise in the second and fourth lines of each stanza. There are no near rhymes in this poem. Also, the use of anaphora, the repetition of “You left me” to start each stanza, helps to create a very formally designed poem.

As a result of these poetic features, Dickinson was able to create an easily understandable yet highly meaningful short poem. The skill and the insights are both impressive.

Characteristics of Emily Dickinson’s Poetry

Emily Dickinson’s sister, Lavinia, gathered Emily’s poems and had them published in 1890. Editors changed some of her words, punctuations, and capitalizations to make them conform to a certain standard. Later editions restored Dickinson’s unique style and organized them in a roughly chronological order.

Emily Dickinson’s poems have many identifiable features. Her poems have been memorized, enjoyed, and discussed since their first publication. Many critics consider her to have been extraordinarily gifted in her abilities to create concise, meaningful, and memorable poems.

The major themes in her poetry include Friends, Nature, Love, and Death. Not surprisingly, she also refers to flowers often in her poems. Many of her poems’ allusions come from her education in the Bible, classical mythology, and Shakespeare.

Dickinson did not give titles to her poems, an unusual feature. Others have given titles to some of her poems, and often the first line of the poem is used as a title.

She wrote short lines, preferring to be concise in her images and references. A study of her letters to friends and mentors shows that her prose style was composed of short iambic phrases, making her prose very similar to her poetry.

Dickinson’s poems are generally short in length, rarely consisting of more than six stanzas, as in “Because I Could Not Stop for Death.” Many of her poems are only one or two stanzas in length. The stanzas are quatrains of four lines. Some poems have stanzas of three or two lines.

The rhythm in many of her poems is called common meter or ballad meter. Both types of meter consist of a quatrain with the first and third lines having four iambic feet and the second and fourth lines having three iambic feet. The iambic foot is a unit of two syllables with the first syllable unstressed and the second syllable stressed.

In her quatrains the rhyme scheme is most often abcb, where only the second and fourth lines rhyme. Such a rhyme scheme is typical of a ballad meter.

Many other poems are written in a meter that is typical of English hymns. This rhythm pattern is characterized by quatrains where lines one, two, and four are written in iambic trimeter and the third line is written in iambic tetrameter.

Often her rhymes are near rhymes or slant rhymes. A near rhyme means that the two rhyming words do not rhyme exactly. They only make a near match.

In Dickinson’s poems, capitalizations and punctuations are unorthodox. She regularly capitalized the nouns but sometimes she was inconsistent and a few nouns were not capitalized. For punctuation, she frequently used a dash instead of a comma or a period, and sometimes she used a dash to separate phrases within a line. Some editions of her poems have attempted to correct the punctuation of her poems.

A dozen or more composers have set Dickinson’s poems to music, including Aaron Copland who produced “Twelve Songs on Poems of Emily Dickinson” in 1951. 0ne of the interesting ways to treat some of Dickinson’s most famous poems, often learned in school, is to sing them to the tune of “Amazing Grace,” or “The Yellow Rose of Texas, or most humorously, the theme to “Gilligan’s Island.”

Emily Dickinson’s Life

Emily Dickinson was an innovative and talented American poet who wrote nearly 1800 poems during her brief lifetime from 1830 to 1886. Dickinson became publicly well known as a poet only after her death because she chose to publish only a very small number of her poems, somewhere between seven and twelve, during her lifetime.

Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, to a well known family. Her grandfather helped to found Amherst College and her father, a lawyer, served for numerous years in the Massachusetts legislature and in the United States Congress. Dickinson had a one year older brother and a three years younger sister.

As a young girl and teenager Dickinson acquired many friends, some lasting a lifetime, received approval and attention from her father, and behaved fittingly for a girl during the Victorian era. She received a classical education from the Amherst Academy and was required by her father to read the Bible. Though she attended church regularly only for a few years, her Christian foundation remained strong throughout her life.

Dickinson attended nearby Mount Holyoke College for only one year, due to numerous reasons, and then was brought back home by her brother, Austin. The Dickinson family lived in a home overlooking the town’s cemetery, where she is buried, for a few years before moving into the home her grandfather had built, called “The Homestead.”

At home in Amherst, Dickinson became a capable housekeeper, cook, and gardener. She attended local events, became friends with some of her fathers’ acquaintances, and read a number of books given to her by her friends and her brother. Most books had to be smuggled into the home for fear that her father would disapprove of them.

Emily Dickinson enjoyed the writings of an impressive list of contemporaries such as Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Longfellow, Whittier, Lowell, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. She also read from the Victorians, Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Thomas Carlyle, and George Eliot, and the Romantic poet Lord Byron. She also loved “David Copperfield” by Charles Dickens. When she discovered Shakespeare she asked, “Why is any other book needed?” In her home she hung portraits of Eliot, Browning, and Carlyle.

Dickinson grew more reclusive into the 1850’s. She began writing poems and received favorable response from her friends. Throughout the rest of her life she adopted the friendly practice of giving poems to her friends and bouquets of flowers from her garden. Her garden was so varied and well-cared that she was better known as a gardener than a poet.

During the Civil War years of the early 1860’s, Emily Dickinson wrote more than 800 poems, the most prolific writing period of her life. During this period Dickinson saw the death of several friends, a teacher, and the declining health of her mother who she had to tend closely. These unhappy events saddened Dickinson and led her to treat the subject of death in many of her poems.

Following the Civil War and for the remaining 20 years of her life, Dickinson rarely left the property limits of The Homestead. Her father, mother, and sister Lavinia all lived with her at home, and her brother lived next door at The Evergreens with his wife, Susan, a longtime friend to Emily, and their children. She enjoyed the company of her family and wrote often to her friends, but residents of Amherst only knew her as the “woman in white” when they infrequently saw her greeting visitors.

After several friends, a nephew, and her parents died, Dickinson wrote fewer and fewer poems and stopped organizing them, as she had been doing for many years. She wrote that, “the dyings have been too deep for me.” Dickinson developed a kidney disease which she suffered from for the remaining two years of her life. The final short letter that she wrote to her cousins read, “Little Cousins, Called Back. Emily.”

Garry Gamber is a public school teacher and entrepreneur. He writes articles about politics, real estate, home businesses, poetry, and books. He is the National Director of Good Politics Radio and the owner of The Dating Advisor.com.

She Walks in Beauty: a Discussion of the Poem by Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

And all that’s best of dark and bright

Meet in her aspect and her eyes:

Thus mellow’d to that tender light

Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,

Had half impair’d the nameless grace

Which waves in every raven tress,

Or softly lightens o’er her face;

Where thoughts serenely sweet express

How pure, how dear their dwelling place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,

So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,

The smiles that win, the tints that glow,

But tell of days in goodness spent,

A mind at peace with all below,

A heart whose love is innocent!

Lord Byron’s opening couplet to “She Walks In Beauty” is among the most memorable and most quoted lines in romantic poetry. The opening lines are effortless, graceful, and beautiful, a fitting match for his poem about a woman who possesses effortless grace and beauty.

About the Poem, “She Walks In Beauty”

In June, 1814, several months before he met and married his first wife, Anna Milbanke, Lord Byron attended a party at Lady Sitwell’s. While at the party, Lord Byron was inspired by the sight of his cousin, the beautiful Mrs. Wilmot, who was wearing a black spangled mourning dress. Lord Byron was struck by his cousin’s dark hair and fair face, the mingling of various lights and shades. This became the essence of his poem about her.

According to his friend, James W. Webster, “I did take him to Lady Sitwell’s party in Seymour Road. He there for the first time saw his cousin, the beautiful Mrs. Wilmot. When we returned to his rooms in Albany, he said little, but desired Fletcher to give him a tumbler of brandy, which he drank at one to Mrs. Wilmot’s health, then retired to rest, and was, I heard afterwards, in a sad state all night. The next day he wrote those charming lines upon her—She walks in Beauty like the Night…”

The poem was published in 1815. Also in that year Lord Byron wrote a number of songs to be set to traditional Jewish tunes by Isaac Nathan. Lord Byron included “She Walks in Beauty” with those poems.

Discussion of the Poem

The first couple of lines can be confusing if not read properly. Too often readers stop at the end of the first line where there is no punctuation. This is an enjambed line, meaning that it continues without pause onto the second line. That she walks in beauty like the night may not make sense as night represents darkness. However, as the line continues, the night is a cloudless one with bright stars to create a beautiful mellow glow. The first two lines bring together the opposing qualities of darkness and light that are at play throughout the three verses.

The remaining lines of the first verse employ another set of enjambed lines that tell us that her face and eyes combine all that’s best of dark and bright. No mention is made here or elsewhere in the poem of any other physical features of the lady. The focus of the vision is upon the details of the lady’s face and eyes which reflect the mellowed and tender light. She has a remarkable quality of being able to contain the opposites of dark and bright.

The third and fourth lines are not only enjambed, but the fourth line begins with an irregularity in the meter called a metrical substitution. The fourth line starts with an accented syllable followed by an unaccented one, rather than the iambic meter of the other lines, an unaccented syllable followed by an accented one. The result is that the word “Meet” receives attention, an emphasis. The lady’s unique feature is that opposites “meet” in her in a wonderful way.

The second verse tells us that the glow of the lady’s face is nearly perfect. The shades and rays are in just the right proportion, and because they are, the lady possesses a nameless grace. This conveys the romantic idea that her inner beauty is mirrored by her outer beauty. Her thoughts are serene and sweet. She is pure and dear.

The last verse is split between three lines of physical description and three lines that describe the lady’s moral character. Here soft, calm glow reflects a life of peace and goodness. This is a repetition, an emphasis, of the theme that the lady’s physical beauty is a reflection of her inner beauty.

Lord Byron greatly admired his cousin’s serene qualities on that particular night and he has left us with an inspired poem.

The poem was written shortly before Lord Byron’s marriage to Anna Milbanke and published shortly after the marriage.

Garry Gamber is a public school teacher and entrepreneur. He writes articles about politics, real estate, health and nutrition, and internet dating services. He is the owner of The Dating Advisor and is the National Director of Good Politics Radio.