a reference in a work of literature to something outside the work, especially to a well-known historical or literary event, person, or work. When T.S. Eliot writes, "To have squeezed the universe into a ball" in "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," he is alluding to the lines "Let us roll our strength and all/ Our sweetness up into one ball" in Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress."

A Precious, Mouldering Pleasure 'tis
Emily Dickinson

A precious, mouldering pleasure ‘t is
To meet an antique book,
In just the dress his century wore;
A privilege, I think,

His venerable hand to take,
And warming in our own,
A passage back, or two, to make
To times when he was young.

His quaint opinions to inspect,
His knowledge to unfold
On what concerns our mutual mind,
The literature of old;

What interested scholars most,
What competitions ran
When Plato was a certainty,
And Sophocles a man;

When Sappho was a living girl,
And Beatrice wore
The gown that Dante deified.
Facts, centuries before,

He traverses familiar,
As one should come to town
And tell you all your dreams were true:
He lived where dreams were born.

His presence is enchantment,
You beg him not to go;
Old volumes shake their vellum heads
And tantalize, just so.

Dickenson alludes to Plato, Sophocles, Sappho, Beatrice, Dante in this poem. Plato and Sophocles were Greek philosophers, Sappho was a Greek lyric poet, Dante was an Italian poet, and Beatrice Portinari was Dante’s great love and muse. Dickenson uses such prominent and stimulating characters to reflect upon possibly because she feels compatible with their doctrines. She holds her work to be as influential, if not more, as that which they have shared with humanity. She intertwines the characteristics of each philosopher to emphasize the impact each had on the other.

Link: Delusion

"A word is dead when it is said, some say. I say it just begins to live that day. "

~Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson

   Emily or should I say Poetess Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachuetts on December 10, 1830. Emily lived secluded in the house she was born in, except for the short time she attended Amherst Academy and Holyoke Female Seminary, until her death on May 15, 1886 due to Bright's disease.
   Emily was an energetic and outgoing woman while attending the Academy and Seminary. It was later, during her mid-twenties, that Emily began to grow reclusive. She attended almost exclusively to household chores and to writing poetry. 
   Many scholars have tried to understand and theorize why Emily decided to seclude herself in her home and write about the most intimate experiences and feelings of life. I think that the best of these theories is that Emily could not write about the world with out first backing away from the it and contemplating it from a distance.
   Emily had a few friends and acquaintances from day to day. One of these aquaintances was Thomas Wentworth Higginson whom she sent a few pieces of her poetry to. He rejected her poems, but he was eventually the first to publish her work after her death. Emily only had a six or seven of her poems published during her lifetime--and those without her consent. The number is argued over because one poem was published more than once.
    It was after her death that her poems were discovered. It is estimated that Emily wrote over 1700 poems.