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The Poems of Emily Dickinson (Variorum Edition) Hardcover – November 14, 1998


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Product Details

  • Series: Variorum Edition
  • Hardcover: 1680 pages
  • Publisher: Belknap Press; Variorum edition (October 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067467622X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674676220
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 6.7 x 4.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #832,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

I think there will be a wide agreement regarding most of Franklin's editorial decisions. He states his principles clearly and does not conceal his uncertainties (about the dating of individual poems, for example). He is deeply respectful of Dickinson's writing practices, following her often erratic spelling and, 'within the capacity of standard type,' her capitalization and punctuation. His textual apparatus is informative without being intrusive, and includes such useful information as where Dickinson broke her lines on her manuscript sheets, as well as any other information--pinned attachments, tears in the paper, and the like--that might have a bearing on interpretation. All scholars and readers of Dickinson are in his debt. (Christopher Benfey New York Review of Books)

The poems of Emily Dickinson speak to an amazingly wide range of readers...Dickinson wrote more than 1,700 poems, but only a few were published in her lifetime. The first substantive scholarly collection of her work was Thomas H. Johnson's edition in 1955. That edition is now superseded by this three-volume variorum edition by Ralph W. Franklin, director of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscripts Library at Yale. Not only does this new edition contain even more poems, but it also gives alternative versions of the poems, which Dickinson left in her manuscripts. Serious scholars, students, and teachers will welcome this landmark edition. But it might also be the perfect...gift for any reader who loves and wants to continue exploring the endless marvels of her poetic creations. (Merle Rubin Christian Science Monitor)

Nearly 1,800 poems--only 10 published in her lifetime--occupied Dickinson during her long, reclusive life; she sent them to friends and family, changing words as she did so. These changes are noted in this edition, which brings us into her workshop; indeed, I know of no better way to get to know this astounding poetry. (Tom D'Evelyn Providence Journal-Bulletin)

Among its valuable new features, Franklin's variorium gives equal weight to each surviving version of a poem: Franklin clarifies Dickinson's manuscript lineation in his introduction (asserting that it was ordinarily determined by available space) and provides a section below each poem to show her original breaks...Step by step, each of Franklin's books and articles has defined and pointed the way to solving the 'impossible' task that confronts an editor attempting to transform into print manuscript poems and letters not prepared by the author for publication. Ralph W. Franklin has met that challenge. He is our indispensable guide to Dickinson's legacy. (Benjamin Lease Emily Dickinson International Society Bulletin)

This new edition is a staggering feat of editorial scholarship and discipline, and a colossal, indispensable achievement in Dickinson studies. (Greg Johnson Georgia Review)

About the Author

R. W. Franklin was Director of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. He is the recipient of the Emily Dickinson International Society's Award for Outstanding Contribution.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 60 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 4, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Emily Dickinson finally has an edition of her poems that she fully deserves. As many readers know, many of her poems were left with variations in words and phrases. Sometimes, whole poems exist in completely different versions -- but the problem is that a "final" form for some poems is not as easy as it might seem since Dickinson herself left many variations on words and phrases without favouring a particular one! One could say that "final" versions for many of her poems simply do not exist. The Johnson edition (the old "definitive" edition) of the complete poems makes choices for the reader -- choices which, unfortunately, are not always the best. This new edition presents the poetry with all the variations intact, so that the reader could choose for him/herself a particular reading when Dickinson herself did not leave a final preference. This new edition is a *must* for anyone who loves Dickinson's poetry (such as myself) -- and it emphasizes just how rich and imaginative Dickinson's use of language really is. Dump your Johnson edition for recycling, folks. This is the definitive edition, worth every penny (and then some) of its rather high price.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tony Marquise Jr. on May 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is it!! The only complete edition of the greatest American poet(at least in my estimatation). This book contains not only all of her poems but also all the variations of her poems. This book also has an introduction that describes how she wrote her pomes and how her poems were made avilible to the world. This set is expensive, but if you love great poetry well worth it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Awe-inspiring, immaculate -- somewhat difficult to read, but it's hard to imagine how better to present so much information so clearly and concisely. All I want now is a similarly updated edition of the complete letters ...
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A superb work of scholarship, obviously. I am not worthy to evaluate it except to say that, for me, it has been a great path through the corpus of Dickinson's poetry.
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The Poems of Emily Dickinson (Variorum Edition)
This item: The Poems of Emily Dickinson (Variorum Edition)
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