Failure To Success: Dr. Seuss & Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst at the Homestead on December 10, 1830. Her youth was rather normal where she went to school, read, attended church, explored nature, and first encountered poetry. While she was younger she seemed very social and happy.

Dickinson’s attitude had changed as she grew older and she eventually became a recluse. She shut herself in from the world and never left her house, spending her time writing poetry. She wrote about 1,800 poems but only a few were published during her life. When she died, her will said for all her poems to be burned. She asked this because she was afraid her work would be hated.

Luckily for us her family didn’t go through with her request and worked to get them all published. During her life her work failed to be recognized, but after her death her poems became some of the most loved in the world. Even though Dickinson shut herself off from the world her poems still resonated greatly with people’s hearts and captured imaginations.

Theodor Seuss Geisel, commonly known as Dr. Seuss, was born in Springfield Massachusetts on March 2, 1904. Seuss wasn’t always planning on becoming an author, instead after graduating college he wanted to be an English teacher. His wife Helen encouraged him not to and instead pursue drawing as a career.

Seuss submitted many drawings to magazines with no avail until finally The Saturday Evening Post published one of his cartoons. After receiving only $25 Seuss was motivated and moved to New York City. During the Great Depression Seuss was able to sustain him and his wife by drawing for corporations. When Seuss went to publish his first children’s book, 27 different publishers passed on his book.

When And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street was finally published it did well and today we all know Dr. Seuss as a literary genius. So much so that March 2, his birthday, has been dedicated as Read Across America Day. Dr. Seuss never had children simply saying, “You have ’em; I’ll entertain ’em.” He did just that and to many his books are seen as the best books they read as a child.