Published: 10th December 2021
What happened on December 10: What do Emily Dickinson and Marie Curie have in common?
From an enigmatic poet to the lady who gave us light in the dark. Also, the Nobel Committee in 1902 almost got itself cancelled for this massive oversight
Because I could not stop for Death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
-Because I Could Not Stop For Death,
Emily Dickinson was an enigma. In her lifetime, only about 10 of the over 1800 poems she wrote were published. Born in Massachusets, USA, she was a recluse, and a prolific writer whose verses often transgressed the usual boundaries and rules of language and existed in the realm of lyrical magic. She is acknowledged as one of the defining poets of the 19th century along with Walt Whitman. She had forsaken the existing rules of poetry writing and instead created her own unique hymn-like verses that gave rise to emotion and mystique in equal parts.
She was born in the year 1830 on this date, and though she is now known to the world as a prolific poet, she excelled at Latin and Sciences as well as a schoolgirl. In fact, so deep was her love for botany that she created a herbarium all on her own, and recognised the number of plants she assembled there by their Latin names. However, the strict rules of formal education were too constricting for her.
When the Nobel Committee was anything but woke
Physicist Marie Curie was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize on this day in 1903. She was awarded the honour in Physics for her research in radioactivity along with her husband Pierre Curie and Henri Becquerel. However, this was 1903, and recognition in a male-dominated field did not come easy for Marie. In 1902 when nominations for the first Nobel awards were being put in place, the committee had left Marie out of contention and had cited only Pierre and Becquerel for research on radioactivity. It was only after an intervention by a member of the committee, and Pierre that Marie could get what was rightfully hers. To date, Marie remains the only woman to have been awarded a Nobel Prize twice. She won her second Nobel in 1911 posthumously for the discovery of Radium. This time, alone.