"Could it be madness - this?" : bipolar disorder and the art of containment in the poetry of Emily Dickinson.
This dissertation engages in a critical analysis of the poetry of Emily Dickinson which, to me, suggests that the poet suffered from a type of manic-depression known specifically in psychiatric parlance as bipolar disorder. I argue that although Dickinson experienced much pain and suffering she learnt, through time, to address, understand and contain adversity - that ultimately, she transformed these experiences into the raw materials for poetic creation. Dickinson's poetic achievements are often obscured by a misunderstanding of her mental and emotional constitution. This thesis provides an alternative to the views of those commentators who maintain that Emily Dickinson was insane, neurotic or delusional. I intend, ultimately, to offer the reader a fresh insight into Emily Dickinson's poetry by reading it from the assumption that she suffered from bipolar disorder.