A Geographical Tour of Literary America

The Grand Tour of Literary Landmarks resulted from my students' success with another project that we called "Poetic License with THE AMAZING RACE." This new journey also begins and ends in my students' hometown. Chosen writers are specific to our curriculum and texts; however, teachers can adapt new selections to their students' needs. Side images are their original work. Photo images at each destination go directly to official sites or to the slideshows of my own travel photos. The main sources of written material here are www.Poets.org and Adventures in American Literature, Heritage Edition and Pegasus Edition.

Amherst, Massachusetts

“I was reared in the garden, you know.” - Emily Dickinson to Louise Norcross, late April 1859

On the literary map, travel from Concord to Amherst, Massachusetts.


# _____________ Miles to Amherst, Massachusetts

$ _____________ Cost for Gasoline to Amherst, Massachusetts

Visit Mrs. Steller's Emily Dickinson Gallery.

We have already studied Miss Dickinson and her work. Now visit Emily Dickinson at www.Poets.org and fill-in-the-blanks.

"Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, in 1830. She attended ______________________ in South Hadley, but severe _____________ led her to return home after one year. Throughout her life, she seldom left her house and visitors were scarce. The people with whom she did come in contact, however, had an enormous impact on her thoughts and poetry. She was particularly stirred by the ________________________, whom she met on a trip to Philadelphia. He left for the West Coast shortly after a visit to her home in 1860, and some critics believe his departure gave rise to the _________________ from Dickinson in the years that followed. While it is certain that he was an important figure in her life, it is not certain that this was in the capacity of romantic love—she called him '_____________________.' "

"By the _____s, Dickinson lived in almost total physical _______ from the outside world, but actively maintained many ______________________ and ______ widely. She spent a great deal of this time with her ________. Her father, Edward Dickinson, was actively involved in state and national politics, serving in Congress for one term. Her brother Austin attended law school and became an attorney, but lived next door once he married Susan Gilbert. Dickinson’s younger sister Lavinia also lived at home for her entire life in similar isolation. Lavinia and Austin were not only family, but ________________ during Dickinson’s lifetime."

"Dickinson's poetry reflects her ___________ and the speakers of her poems generally live in a state of want, but her poems are also marked by the __________ recollection of ________ moments which are decidedly life-giving and suggest the possibility of happiness. Her work was heavily influenced by the ___________ poets of seventeenth-century England, as well as her reading of the _____________________ and her upbringing in a _______________ town which encouraged a Calvinist, orthodox, and __________ approach to Christianity.
While Dickinson was extremely prolific as a poet and regularly enclosed poems in letters to friends, she was not publicly recognized during her lifetime. The first volume of her work was published _______________ in 1890 and the last in __________. She died in Amherst in ______________. "

Visit where Emily Dickinson wrote her 1800 poems.

Choose one topic from the several on this page and summarize the main ideas in about five sentences.