Did Emily Dickinson want us to read her poetry?
How did she want her poems to look?
Help discover Dickinson's lost poetry!
Investigate the original documents to better understand the concept of authorial intention and learn about some key players in the success of Emily Dickinson's work!
Before playing the game, the class should define the following key terms:
authorial intention = the meaning or interpretation of a poem or a work of fiction that the author wants people to get out of their writing.
facsimile = an original document rendered online. We will be looking at facsimiles of Emily Dickinson's original poetry.
fascicle = "A volume. A part of a work published by installments." (OED) Here, Emily DIckinson sewed some of her works into little makeshift books.
Look up any word in Emily Dickinson's poems here!
For a collection of digital manuscripts and facsimiles of Dickinson's writing, look here.
* historical content about these characters is from The Emily Dickinson Museum, check out their website for more information!
Lavinia is Emily Dickinson's little sister and the person who uncovered Emily's vast hidden collection of poems (nearly 1800) after Emily passed away. From 1886 to 1899, Lavinia devoted herself to publishing her beloved sister's poems and letters.
Lavinia convinced Mabel Loomis Todd, a writer, editor and intellectual, to collaborate on the mission to publish Emily Dickinson's recovered poetry. Mabel enthusiastically helped craft a hugely successful book campaign in 1890. She later claimed ownership over a huge part of the original poems, which caused tension between her and the Dickinson family.
Thomas co-edited the first 2 collections of Emily Dickinson's poems with Mabel Loomis Todd.
Emily Dickinson's niece, and a writer herself, Martha inherited much of her aunt's collection of poems (except for a hefty portion, which Mabel Loomis Todd fought the Dickinson family for). Martha revived an interest in her aunt's work with her own publication of a collection and memories of her aunt in 1914.
Ralph is a renowned Emily Dickinson scholar who reintroduced the fascicles, or small hand sewn books, that Emily Dickinson left behind as a critical component of reading her poetry. He edited a collection with major emphasis on the fascicles in 1981.