Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes by Billy Collings.
Billy Collins’, “Taking off Emily Dickinson’s clothes” is a poem that is a reference to the exposure of Emily Dickinson’s inner emotions as a result of her poetry being published. While the title of the poem could indicate a somewhat distasteful representation of a naked Emily Dickinson, Collins actually uses words in a way that makes the whole scene light-hearted, and not embarrassing. It has been brought up in a previous post that Dickinson intended to keep her poetry private. With that said, the act of taking off her clothes and exposing her naked body could be a metaphor for the publishing of her poetry to expose her deep emotions. As stated earlier, Collins maintains a level of respect both for Emily and her work throughout his poem. He shows his respect for her work by making references to her poems. The very first line makes a reference to “I could not stop for death” by way of the word “tippet”. The second and third references come in lines 37 and 38, where Collins says “nothing but a carriage passing the house, a fly buzzing in a windowpane.” These references are fairly clear, and if you are familiar with Dickinson in the slightest, these clues are easy to pick up. About the poet – Billy Collins ( Born March 22, 1941) is an American poet, appointed as Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003. He is a Distinguished Professor at Lehman College of the City University of New York. Collins was recognized as a Literary Lion of the New York Public Library in the year 1992 and selected as the New York State Poet for 2004-2006. For more videos log onto http://www.youtube.com/pearlsofwisdom
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