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The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson Paperback – January 30, 1976
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The book was compiled from Thomas H. Johnson's hard-to-find variorum from 1955. While some explanatory notes would have been helpful, it's a prodigious collection, showcasing Dickinson's intractable obsession with nature, including death. Poem 1732, which alludes to the deaths of her father and a onetime suitor, illustrates her talent:
My life closed twice before its close;
It yet remains to see
If Immortality unveil
A third event to me,
So huge, so hopeless to conceive
As these that twice befell.
Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell.
The musicality of her punctuation and the outright elegance of her style--akin to Christina Rossetti's hymns, although not nearly so religious--rescue the poems from their occasional abstruseness. The Complete Poems is especially refreshing because Dickinson didn't write for publication; only 11 of her verses appeared in magazines during her lifetime, and she had long-resigned herself to anonymity, or a "Barefoot-Rank," as she phrased it. This is the perfect volume for readers wishing to explore the works of one of America's first poets.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Of course other women of literature suffered something similar during the nineteenth century. What I wonder is, who is being misread, ignored or denied today?
Anyway, suffice it to say that this IS the definitive one-volume collection of the poetry of Emily Dickinson. It includes all the 1,775 poems that she wrote in her lifetime, and they are presented here just as she wrote them with only some minor corrections of obvious misspellings or misplaced apostrophes. Johnson has retained the sometimes "capricious" capitalization, and preserved the famous dashes.
There is a subject index, which I found useful, and an index of first lines, which is invaluable.
Dickinson can be playful...
I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Are you - Nobody - too?
Then there's a pair of us!
Don't tell! they'd advertise - you know!
...she can be sarcastic...Read more ›
Poetry flows - or, should. A poem comprises both linguistic content and graphic display. Its presentation on the page is a part of the poem. The display of poems in this edition is flawed in a ways that can be jarring and distracting: Although many of the poems are short, short enough to fit on a page, they are not arranged that way. A poem of just a few lines will frequently begin on a page and be continued on the following page, often with the division occurring in the middle of a stanza. Then, below it, the next poem will begin and be chopped up in the same fashion.
I am disappointed to find yet another Kindle book that shows disregard for quality as evidenced in negligent formatting. ok, it's cheap, but reinforces what should be a constant 'Kindle rule': always view the sample before buying anything.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you like Emily Dickinson, this book is as good as any, I guess. We used this for class. The professor would say what the poem meant, and we were all looking at each other like,... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Deborah
A "complete edition" of the poems, citing but not including the many variants. The result is a "standard" text for use. Read morePublished 2 months ago by paul pirate
Lovely read, she was very talented at that poetry stuff, as opposed to myself.
I'd recommend this to any and all poetry lovers.