Emily Dickinson proved that brevity can be beautiful. Only now is her complete oeuvre--all 1,775 poems--available in its original form, uncorrupted by editorial revision, in one volume. Thomas H. Johnson, a longtime Dickinson scholar, arranged the poems in chronological order as far as could be ascertained (the dates for more than 100 are unknown). This organization allows a wide-angle view of Dickinson's poetic development, from the sometimes-clunky rhyme schemes of her juvenilia, including valentines she wrote in the early 1850s, to the gloomy, hell-obsessed writings from her last years. Quite a difference from requisite Dickinson entries in literary anthologies: "There's a certain Slant of light," "Wild Nights--Wild Nights!" and "I taste a liquor never brewed."
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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Complete is the keyword here as this is the only edition currently available that contains all of Dickinson's poems. The works were originally gathered by editor Johnson and published in a three-volume set in 1955. Essential for academic and public libraries.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I'm glad I finally read Dickinson. Her poems are like little existentially prescient windows into nature and the human condition. There's nothing else quite like it.Published 13 days ago by Dasein
This edition is NOT Johnson's 1955 standard edition of ED's poems. This is a reprint of the early editions, collected and edited by Lavinnia Dickinson and Mabel Loomis Todd,... Read morePublished 22 days ago by John Welch
Emily Dickinson's poetry is beautiful, touching, and timelessly relevant.Published 1 month ago by A. Freimann
Emily Dickinson is one of the great poets of the ages and this volume by Johnson is a true rendering of her work-- as she wrote.Published 1 month ago by Flavio LaMorticella
Her poems as we all know classics, timeless ! Yes I would definitely recommend it !Published 2 months ago by Kathi Rainwater
This is NOT the Johnson edition, but a bait and switch version. Most dashes removed (a few left for character?!), some titles added and organized BY THEME. Read morePublished 3 months ago by callie b
I can't wait to give it to my boyfriend! Emily Dickinson's work is magnificent and this is very VERY well madePublished 4 months ago by ~Forest Elf~