It comes as something of a surprise to learn that Emily Dickinson, whose reputation as a major poet is universally recognized, was known first for her prose compositions. Although none of her school compositions have survived, they were of sufficient merit that Emily became known for her sharp pencil and original wit. At Amherst Academy she apparently contributed both composition and cartoons to a student magazine, called Forest Leaves. What remains of Dickinson’s prose work survives in the voluminous correspondence she engaged in throughout her life. The quality of this writing provides a rich resource for the insights it gives to Dickinson’s life and personality and to her perspectives on literature and her own poetry.…

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Citation:
Freeman, Margaret. "Letters". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 January 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=16699, accessed 23 November 2014.]