• Dickinson and Mathematics

    Author(s):
    Seo-Young Chu (see profile)
    Date:
    2006
    Subject(s):
    Dickinson, Emily, 1830-1886, Poetry, Mathematics, Poetics, Aesthetics, Education, American literature
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    lyric, image and poetry, Emily Dickinson, Poetics and poetry, Epistemology
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/kyw6-pc04
    Abstract:
    Abstract Focusing on poems that observe her own mandate to "Deal with the soul / As with Algebra!" (Fr240), I will analyze some of the ways in which Dickinson uses specific mathematical principles to account for mysteries like death, wonder, the relation of self to God, and the limits of human knowledge. [...] in her poetry she brings "circumference" to bear on subjects as diverse as intense physical suffering ("Pain - expands the Time - / Ages coil within / The minute Circumference / Of a single Brain" [Fr833]), the mesmerizing flight of a butterfly ("Her pretty Parasol [...] to Nowhere - seemed to go / In purposeless Circumference" [Fr610]), and the spectacle of nightfall ("An ignorance a Sunset / Confer opon the Eye - / Of territory - Color - / Circumference - Decay" [Fr669]).
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    5 months ago
    License:
    Attribution
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