Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston, descended from eight generations of ministers. He entered Harvard at the age of 14 and went on to become a preacher himself. Dickinson read both Emerson's first and second series of essays, and was particularly moved by the weight and meaning he ascribed to every word. She incorporated this idea of the great significance of each word into her own work, although she was more abstract in her thoughts than was Emerson. It is apparent that she liked Emerson, as she quoted him in her personal letters. However, Dickinson was not as idealistic as Emerson.