Where Nature Goes: Garden, Music and Emily Dickinson’s Poetry

Jiangyue CHEN


The understanding of the relationship between nature and art deeply influences our environment. With rich images of nature in her poems, Emily Dickinson’s identity as a gardener is a necessity to her literary career, for all her observations from nature occur in her garden. As a gardener and a hermit, her “nature”I s all about her garden, which is a curious phenomenon worthy of discussion, for garden is an existence between pure nature and artificial creation: All plants are natural but people can choose them and hybrid them. Emily plans her garden as natural as it could be, and in her poem she also says that Eden is more beautiful, so her attitude for “nature” and “art” is obvious, she clearly expresses that the ideal nature excels nature, and nature excels art. In her more natural garden, there is many images with emphasis again her attitude towards nature and art, for instance, music as an image can also show her preference between nature and art. In spite of the beauty of artificial music, the natural music like bird songs is more beautiful, and the music of the heaven excels the former again. Emily Dickinson’s ecological view of nature and art provides another interesting angle to look at ecological literature, and it is necessary to regard her as an ecological writer.


Emily Dickinson; Nature; Art; Garden; Music

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/n


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