Dickinson’s Amherst

This is the Hour of Lead–
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow–
First Chill–then Stupor–then the letting go–
~Emily Dickinson, Poem 341 








Right: Dickinson Family Plot, West Cemetery, Amherst, Massachusetts (photo by Linda Tate).


Amherst, Massachusetts, was the hometown of poet Emily Dickinson.

The place to begin a visit to Emily Dickinson’s Amherst is The Dickinson Homestead. Here, visitors can learn the history of the house and step into Dickinson’s bedroom where she wrote her 1,775 poems. To prepare for your own visit, you might want to read Jodi Werner’s essay, “The Dickinson Homestead,” which describes her visit to the poet’s home.

Visitors will then want to go next door to The Evergreens, the home of Austin and Sue Dickinson, Dickinson’s brother and sister-in-law. For the inside scoop on this house, see the New York Times article, “The House Where a Scandal Divided Emily Dickinson's Family.”

Read Patricia’s thoughts on standing in Emily’s bedroom. Read Deidre’s Dickinson-inspired poem. Look at Dan’s beautiful drawing inspired by “Faith is a fine invention.” And be absolutely sure to look at T C’s wonderful poem, “Out Emily's Window” (accompanied by a little-known photograph of Emily Dickinson).

Top Left: The Dickinson Homestead (photo by Anna Hughes). Bottom Left: The Evergreens (photo by Anna Hughes).

No visit to Amherst is complete without a trip to West Cemetery to pay homage to Emily Dickinson. This was one of the true highlights of our trip.

Left: Emily Dickinson’s tombstone (photo by Linda Tate).



“American Transcendentalism: An Online Travel Guide” was produced by students in ENGL 446, American Transcendentalism, and ENGL 447, American Literature and the Prominence of Place: A Travel Practicum. These courses were team-taught in the Department of English at Shepherd College (now Shepherd University), Shepherdstown, West Virginia, in Spring 2002 by Dr. Patricia Dwyer and Dr. Linda Tate. For more information on the course and the web project, visit “About This Site.” © 2003 Linda Tate.