Lesson Plan

Lesson 3: Emulating Emily Dickinson: Poetry Writing

The original of the only authenticated photograph of poet Emily Dickinson
Photo caption

The original of the only authenticated photograph of poet Emily Dickinson is held by the Archives & Special Collections at Amherst College.

Long perceived as a recluse who wrote purely in isolation, Emily Dickinson in reality maintained many dynamic correspondences throughout her lifetime and specifically sought out dialogues on her poetry. In this lesson, students closely examine Dickinson’s poem “There’s a certain slant of light” in order to understand her craft. Students explore different components of Dickinson’s poetry and then practice their own critical and poetry writing skills in an emulation exercise. Finally, in the spirit of Dickinson’s correspondences, students will exchange their poems and offer informed critiques of each others’ work.

For a complete introduction to the three lessons in this curriculum unit, The Letters and Poems of Emily Dickinson, review the curriculum unit overview.

Guiding Questions

How does Emily Dickinson use figurative language to create a sense of mood and voice in her poem “There’s a certain slant of light”?

Learning Objectives

Analyze the specific elements of figurative language in Emily Dickinson's poetry and how they work together to create theme, motif, and mood.

Recreate the style of poetic style of Emily Dickinson.

Revise the work of others and edit work based on the suggestions of others.