June 7, 2016

2598 UNITED STATES (Massachusetts) - Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

2598 Emily Dickinson - The daguerreotype
taken at Mount Holyoke, December 1846
or early 1847, the only authenticated portrait
of Emily Dickinson later than childhood.

Unrecognized in her own time, the reclusive Emily Dickinson is now almost universally considered one of the most significant of all American poets, being highly appreciated for her unusual use of form and syntax. He was born at the family's homestead in Amherst, Massachusetts, on December 10, 1830, and died 55 years later, on May 15, 1886, in the same house. Although part of a prominent, but not wealthy, family with strong ties to its community, Dickinson lived much of her life highly introverted.

Considered an eccentric by locals, she developed a noted penchant for white clothing and became known for her reluctance to greet guests or, later in life, to even leave her bedroom. Practically, by the 1860s, he lived in almost complete isolation. He never married, and most friendships between her and others depended entirely upon correspondence. However, the people with whom she did come in contact, had an enormous impact on her poetry.

While Dickinson was a prolific poet, fewer than a dozen of poems were published during her lifetime, usually altered by the publishers to fit the conventional poetic rules of the time. Upon her death, Lavinia, her younger sister, who also lived at home for her entire life in similar isolation, discovered forty handbound volumes of nearly 1,800 poems. The first volume of her works was published in 1890, but a complete, and mostly unaltered, collection of her poetry became available for the first time in 1955.

Dickinson’s poetry was heavily influenced by the Metaphysical poets of 17th century England, as well as her reading of the Book of Revelation and her upbringing in a Puritan New England town, which encouraged a Calvinist, orthodox, and conservative approach to Christianity. Many of her poems deal with themes of death and immortality, two recurring topics in letters to her friends. Undoubtedly, her poignant and compressed verse profoundly influenced the direction of 20th-century poetry.

About the stamps

The first stamp was issued in 1980 and conveys the message "Learning never ends".

The second stamp was issued on May 22, 2014, to honor Harvey Milk (1930-1978), an American politician who became the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California, when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. His political career was tragically cut short less than a year after he took office in California when he and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone were assassinated on November 27, 1978. The stamp image is based on a circa 1977 black and white photograph of Milk in front of his Castro Street Camera store in San Francisco taken by Daniel Nicoletta.

The third stamp is part of a definitive series with butterflies, about which I wrote here.

The last stamp is part of the series Ferns, issued on January 27, 2014. Each stamp depicts a close-up photograph of a different species of fern. The shapes and textures of the fronds stand out against a stark white background, highlighting the placement of the leaflets along each fern’s stem. Art director Phil Jordan designed the stamps using existing images by photographer Cindy Dyer.
• Autumn fern
• Goldie’s wood fern
• Soft shield fern
• Fortune’s holly fern - It's on the postcard 2598
• Painted fern

Emily Dickinson - Wikipedia
Emily Dickinson - biography.com
Emily Dickinson - poets.org

Sender: Randy
Sent from Takoma Park (Maryland / United States), on 08.08.2014

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