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Essential Dickinson (Essential Poets) Paperback – February 1, 1998


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Paperback, February 1, 1998
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Product Details

  • Series: Essential Poets (Book 23)
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco (February 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0880015209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0880015202
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 4.6 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,770,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

In the person of Joyce Carol Oates, the Ecco Press has found the perfect voice to reveal Emily Dickinson's dazzling mind and thin psychic boundaries. When Oates writes in her bird-alert, penetrating introduction that "The writer is forever in motion, calculating and breathless at once, casting out demons, joys, gems, profundity in skeins of language, then moving restlessly on," she could as well be describing herself. Oates discusses the idiosyncratic dashes and capitalizations, charged syntax, elusive slant rhymes, the inimitable voice "discovered in adolescence" that is "at once self-effacing and self-declaring," so instantly recognizable in its obsessions and hungers. "Hunger--literal? Sexual? A hunger for the manly attributes of freedom and power?" Oates has selected masterpieces and lesser known poems to illustrate her many concerns: the poet's bold imagery, energy, wit, mimicry of child's speech, dream babble, quicksilver moments "recorded in the very instant of manifestation." This is Dickinson "at the white heat" of ecstasy and its sister, despair, and she continues to hold us in awe. --Emily Fragos
Copyright © 1996, Boston Review. All rights reserved. -- From The Boston Review

About the Author

Known as “The Myth of Amherst” for her withdrawal from society while still a young women, Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) had an inner life that was deeply emotional and intense. She know rapture and despair, pondered the wonder of God and the meaning of death. She broke tradition and was criticized for her seminal experiments with unorthodox phrasing, rhyme and broken meter, within concise verse forms, thus becoming an innovator and forerunner of modern poets.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
Emily Dickison is one of the world's most memorable poets. This selection of her writing introduces us into her epigrammatic visionary verse-. There could not be a more appropriate person to introduce Emily, than another haunted inhabit of the deep literary imagination- Joyce Carol Oates.

Dickinson's verse stings and remains seared in the mind . It touches earth and tries Heaven in oblique inferences which shatter us out of our mental slumber.In subtle perceptions of metaphor it addresses the fundamental longings and distinctions of the human soul. It defines and redefines our feeling , in contracted language which expands the meaning we give to our own everyday lines.

"Exultation is the going of an inland soul to sea

Past the headlands, past the houses into deep eternity"
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. Pour on November 23, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm not, generally speaking, a poetry kind of guy, but this is by a poetess personality with whom I am in sympathy. Her self-imposed, mostly secluded adult existance away from humankind has always made me wonder and appreciate her. I once worked with an old and very experienced female newspaper reporter who once said to me in disgust: "You know, people are just no damned good." I also remember a quote from somewhere, by Charles Bukowski I think, that said: "I like people, but I seem to feel better when they're not around." There seems to be a peace and stillness not to be found elsewhere in living mostly apart from others and not participating in their frantic money gathering, incessant and/or nonsensical babbling, their grand propensity for violence in it's many forms, self-idolizations and their hippocracies. She died for beauty, but from her writing I perceive she found much in nature, but didn't find so much in humankind. Just a sprinkling here and there, and maybe that's enough. Her comments about religion and church-going make me smile. She seems to have been an insightful genius. The recording is just fine.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D_Spider on July 31, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
the producers could have, should have, included more. Julie Harris' reading is excellent, and of course the poems are excellent, but there's empty space on the disk and there's an ad on the disk for audio-disk recordings that is not what I paid for and not what belongs with Dickinson's poetry. And, as long as I'm being picky, "essential" Dickinson does not include the significant proportion of letters on this disk at the expense of quite a few better-known poems. So it gets only 4 stars from me. "Publication is the Auction / Of the Mind" for sure.
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Format: Audio CD
Due to a few popular poems being taken out of context & turned into greeting card homilies, Emily Dickinson is sometimes relegated to the cute shelf by those who really don't know her work. This sampler of her poetry -- including some of those popular poems -- is just the cure for that misconception among those who might otherwise dismiss it without ever having heard it. Julie Harris gives just the right reading: informed by her talent as an actress, but never too over-acted, she breathes life & feeling into these poems, and brings out their subtle qualities, The listener is made aware of Emily Dickinson's experience of life, in which Death & Eternity were quite familiar acquaintances --how often a line strikes boldly, even pitilessly, due to her absolutely clear & lucid vision, and her ability to put that vision into vivid, often startling words. There's nothing genteel or mannered here; this is the voice of someone who sees Life & Death stripped of everyday illusions & comfortable glosses, finding their true stark beauty with unblinking honesty. This is the voice of someone who felt far more deeply & richly than most of us ever manage -- and the poems & letter excerpts reflect this in a way that has never been matched. Most highly recommended!
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