“A Certain Slant of Light” : Emily Dickinson documentary (1977)

Julie Harris takes viewers into Emily Dickinson’s everyday world in a small New England town to compare and contrast facts about the poet with her extraordinary, original insights. Dickinson’s reclusive life in her father’s mansion on Main Street in Amherst, Massachusetts, meant that she wrote almost all of her surviving work in this house. From cellar to cupola, we invoke her “certain slant of light” (her real and imagined perspectives). Other locations are Amherst College, Mount Holyoke Seminary (now College), the town cemetery next door to her childhood home, and commanding views on or near the shores of the Connecticut River. The paradox of the poet at home with limitless imagination is announced early in her stunning poem “The Brain Is Wider than the Sky.” As seen on PBS. (30 minutes)

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886) was an American poet. Little-known during her life, she has since been regarded as one of the most important figures in American poetry.

Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts into a prominent family with strong ties to its community. After studying at the Amherst Academy for seven years in her youth, she briefly attended the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary before returning to her family’s house in Amherst.


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