Renascence 66 (4):283-304 (2014)

Drawing on a large number of Dickinson’s poems, this essay explores the poetic originality, depth of insight, and extremes of emotional experience in those poems in which she articulates her relationship with a mystery of divinely transcendent being. Although Dickinson definitively rejected the institutional Christianity of her time and place, she employed the religious language and symbols of Christianity to express in a profoundly idiosyncratic way her recurrent experiences of sacred or divine transcendence. In these poems her articulation both of love for the divine mystery and of her anxiety and terror in feeling abandoned by “Paradise” or the divine “Lover” attains an extraordinary power, expressing in her unique poetic language the emotional heights and depths resulting from repeatedly experiencing both divine presence in the mind and divine inaccessibility and inscrutability
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DOI 10.5840/renascence201466421
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