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Interactive EDIS Group site for discussion of events, publications, performances and other public witnesses about reading Dickinson, about reading poetry.
We seek critical essays by undergraduates from institutions of all kinds, focusing on Dickinson’s poems or letters. To submit an essay for the prize, copies of articles as anonymous word attachments were sent, plus a cover letter with contact information to the following address by May 1, 2015: [email protected]
The essays were distributed electronically to a panel of nationally recognized scholars for judging, and Rebekah Davis, a senior English major at Seattle Pacific University, is our first undergraduate essay prize winner.
The poet Christina Rossetti uses goblins as the main antagonists in her poem “Goblin Market,” which tells the story of two women threatened and tricked by the deceptive creatures.
Though “Goblin Market” was published in 1862, the same year Dickinson wrote her own goblin poems, we do not know for sure if Dickinson ever read Rossetti’s poem.
She wrote the paper for Susan Van Zanten's upper–division course.
Emily Dickinson’s eighteen hundred or so poems span a variety of subjects, but critics and readers alike have been drawn to her depictions of the darker experiences of life.
The goblin is not the only image or diction they share.
Collectively, the four poems record what Maria O’Malley describes as the “sequential reactions of the soul to a traumatic moment: paralysis, escape, and reincarceration” (70).
The image of the frightful goblins, whether persisting from the childhood threats or presented in other poems and stories Dickinson read, was significant enough to become part of Dickinson’s poetic repertoire, and she enlists the goblin as a supporting character in poems that depict extreme psychological torment.
The terrifying creatures of her poems stand in stark contrast to the harmless goblins invoked to warn young Dickinson of the forest’s dangers.