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Emily Dickinson: Complete Collection of Poems with analysis and historical background (Annotated and Illustrated) (Annotated Classics)

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* Includes an alphabetical index of first lines. * Illustrated with the original images. * Annotated with concise introduction, including analysis of Emily Dickinson's poems and literary style. * Includes Emily Dickinson's Biography. * Includes analysis of Transcendentalism. * All Annotated Classics books are beautifully designed for easy reading and navigation on e-Readers a * Includes an alphabetical index of first lines. * Illustrated with the original images. * Annotated with concise introduction, including analysis of Emily Dickinson's poems and literary style. * Includes Emily Dickinson's Biography. * Includes analysis of Transcendentalism. * All Annotated Classics books are beautifully designed for easy reading and navigation on e-Readers and mobile devices. CONTENTS: First Series Second Series Third Series Index of First Lines Biography Analysis American poetry Transcendentalism


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* Includes an alphabetical index of first lines. * Illustrated with the original images. * Annotated with concise introduction, including analysis of Emily Dickinson's poems and literary style. * Includes Emily Dickinson's Biography. * Includes analysis of Transcendentalism. * All Annotated Classics books are beautifully designed for easy reading and navigation on e-Readers a * Includes an alphabetical index of first lines. * Illustrated with the original images. * Annotated with concise introduction, including analysis of Emily Dickinson's poems and literary style. * Includes Emily Dickinson's Biography. * Includes analysis of Transcendentalism. * All Annotated Classics books are beautifully designed for easy reading and navigation on e-Readers and mobile devices. CONTENTS: First Series Second Series Third Series Index of First Lines Biography Analysis American poetry Transcendentalism

45 review for Emily Dickinson: Complete Collection of Poems with analysis and historical background (Annotated and Illustrated) (Annotated Classics)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Timothy

    Because she is so freaking good-- As good--as she can be-- She makes me want--to scream--and shout-- And set my poor heart free-- Because I cannot live without-- Her rhythm--and her rhyme-- I keep this poet close at hand And only ask--for time.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    I felt a sneeze - as big as God Form in - back of - my Nose Yet being - without - a Handkerchief I Panicked quite - and froze Sneeze I must - yet sneeze - must not Dilemma - made - me grieve Happy then - a single Bee Saw me - use - my sleeve Well all right, I did not read every one of the 25,678 but certainly a fair number. You know when she died they found she'd stuffed poems everywhere in her house, up the chimney, down her knickers, tied in little "packets" onto her dogs' hindquarters, someone cut a I felt a sneeze - as big as God Form in - back of - my Nose Yet being - without - a Handkerchief I Panicked quite - and froze Sneeze I must - yet sneeze - must not Dilemma - made - me grieve Happy then - a single Bee Saw me - use - my sleeve Well all right, I did not read every one of the 25,678 but certainly a fair number. You know when she died they found she'd stuffed poems everywhere in her house, up the chimney, down her knickers, tied in little "packets" onto her dogs' hindquarters, someone cut a slice of a loaf of bread to make a sandwich and another 25 poems fell out. I think Emily would have made a great drug mule if she'd have lived another 120 years. Although she may have found a serious conflict between her intense religious convictions and the large amount of cash she would have made, not to mention the radical change of lifestyle. There's - a certain - slant of - light On - winter afternoons That makes - you feel - high Like - those - small - mushrooms I put - a poem - in my pants Then sitting - by an Eternal Lake My poem - seemed - to speak aloud "Lay off - the Battenburg - cake"

  3. 4 out of 5

    Praveen

    When I hoped, I feared Since I hoped, I dared! I realized for a moment with a great sense of sadness that from now on, whenever I decide to read a famous poet for the first time, I must keep myself free from any prejudice and presumption. I had heard that she was regarded as a transcendentalist as far as the major themes in her poems were concerned. I do not know from where I got this notion, I probably learned it from some of the early articles, I read about her poems somewhere. How authentic wa When I hoped, I feared Since I hoped, I dared! I realized for a moment with a great sense of sadness that from now on, whenever I decide to read a famous poet for the first time, I must keep myself free from any prejudice and presumption. I had heard that she was regarded as a transcendentalist as far as the major themes in her poems were concerned. I do not know from where I got this notion, I probably learned it from some of the early articles, I read about her poems somewhere. How authentic was that source? I never checked! And meanwhile, I never got time to read her, verifying such presuppositions. I'm Nobody! Who are you? Ar you--Nobody--Too? Transcendentalism is certainly present there, but I also found common place innocence along with that profound sapience and susceptibility for Life, Love, and Death in her poetry. She has also written on various subjects like trains, shipwreck, surgeons, contract, lost jewel etc. But she has filled those ordinary looking stuff around, with the fragrance of her craft and sensitivity. Surgeons must be very careful When they take the knife! Underneath their fine incisions stirs the culprit,- life! She herself has claimed that she has her phrases for every thought, but she confessed her limitations as well. I found the phrase to every thought I ever had, but one; And that defies me,- as a hand did try to chalk the sun While I was reading this bulky volume, I felt in the beginning as if I were getting acquainted with a young girl, who did not want to disclose her sentiments, and who felt irritated and looked sulky when someone read her and tried to empathize with her sensibility. I felt as if she wished to keep herself hidden. But at the very next moment, I felt as if she were daring me to explore too, proving my thoughts wrong about her hesitancy, telling me how audacious her approach was. Who never climbed the weary league- Can such a foot explore The purple territories On Pizarro's shore? Her poems on nature, love, and life are extraordinarily beautiful and touching. Her sensibility in writing about hope and hunger, about life and death, about exploring and returning is just wonderful. Tomorrow night will come again Weary perhaps and sore Ah, bugle, by my window I pray you stroll once more! She has scrutinized almost everything. Her subtle observation enlarged my common sense. There were four- liners giving a sound imprint to my sensibility and then there were beautiful longer poems taking me to her world of imagination giving an impression of her vision. She was humorous at times and expressed herself lightly as well, but she never looked futile. She maintained the depth and gravity every time. I heard that though she lived a secluded life, she was never disappointed with the life. I think she might have been an extremely sensitive introvert who invaginated her sentiments from the world and then from within her, came out such beautiful and impressive rhymes and verses, which made her readers feel instantly connected to her. I am so pleased and joyous reading her and having filled myself with such unique and exotic poetry of this poetess that I am going to visit her poetic world again and again. That’s a promise! The soul unto itself Is an imperial friend,- Or the most agonizing spy An enemy could send

  4. 5 out of 5

    James

    Book Review I love Emily Dickinson's poetry. I recently went to a museum exhibit dedicated to her and fell in love again with one of her poems, which I'll dissect below: Critics of Emily Dickinson’s poem number 328, commonly titled “A Bird Came Down the Walk,” have several different interpretations of the poem. Most critics believe that the poem is a “conventional symbolic account of Christian encounter within the world of nature…” (Budick 218). Although several critics take a religious appr Book Review I love Emily Dickinson's poetry. I recently went to a museum exhibit dedicated to her and fell in love again with one of her poems, which I'll dissect below: Critics of Emily Dickinson’s poem number 328, commonly titled “A Bird Came Down the Walk,” have several different interpretations of the poem. Most critics believe that the poem is a “conventional symbolic account of Christian encounter within the world of nature…” (Budick 218). Although several critics take a religious approach to the poem, I disagree with them. I believe that “A Bird Came Down the Walk” is about mankind’s innate fear of others who are larger/smaller than they are. I also think that the poem explains man’s reaction to this fear. The bird in poem number 328 actually represents all of mankind. When the bird is confronted with its fear, it flies away. A (wo)man is as guilty as the bird when (s)he is running away from his/her fears. When we are scared or frightened, we often run away instead of standing up to face our fears. The first stanza of Emily Dickinson’s poem shows a bird doing what it normally does all day long: “A Bird came down the walk / He did not know I saw / He bit an Angleworm in halves / And ate the fellow raw.” However, there is a deeper meaning in this stanza than the idea of a bird simply eating a raw worm. According to Jonnie G. Guerra, “the speaker’s choice of verbs seems to express a desire to anthropomorphize the bird” (Guerra 29). By giving the bird human-like qualities, the narrator invites the readers to compare the bird’s actions to mankind’s actions. The man is actually a human being who is eating his lunch or dinner. Since the bird does not know that the reader sees him eating a worm, the bird is perfectly at peace going about his daily business. Humans are identical to the bird in this sense. We follow our daily routines of eating, drinking, sleeping, shopping, and working; yet, we rarely realize that someone may be watching our every move. All throughout the day, parents watch their children to insure their safety, teachers monitor their students’ progress in order to help them do well, and bosses keep a close watch on their employees to see if they are doing the work that they were hired to do. There is always a pair of eyes beating down on us to scrutinize our every action, just like the narrator scrutinizes the bird’s actions. Through the bird, who is unaware of the man watching him, the narrator shows that no one is ever completely alone. The bird may be in danger, and it feels as though someone or something is approaching it. The second stanza continues with the anthropomorphization of the bird: “And then he drank a Dew / From a convenient Grass / And then hopped sideways to the Wall / To let a Beetle pass.” The reader sees the resemblance of the bird to a human in this stanza when the bird drinks a dew because “grass” suggests an echo-pun on glass (Guerra 29). However, this stanza also sets up a situation that shows the goodness of humankind. Charles R. Metzger “playfully suggests a fancifully anthropomorphic sense of genteel deportment in the bird’s letting a “Beetle pass” (Metzger 22). Here, the narrator shows that the bird is kind enough to step out of the way for the beetle, a creature smaller than the bird, to pass by. Continuing with the theory that the bird is actually a human, readers then see how we humans often try to be accommodating to others. When others aren’t as capable of doing something on their own, man will often go out of his/her way to make it more convenient for them. When we are in the way of others’ goals, we try to get out of their way if at all possible. With its human-like qualities, the bird follows the “Golden Rule” just as man does. Since we are never alone in the world, we must work to make friends. Perhaps, the bird is trying to befriend the beetle. It is unlikely, but still, the bird is friendly by moving out of the beetle’s way. However, the bird’s friendliness isn’t enough to keep the bird calm when the stranger/narrator advances toward it. As a result, the third stanza shows a change in the bird’s composure: “He glanced with rapid eyes / That hurried all around / They looked like frightened Beads, I thought / He stirred his Velvet Head.” When the bird stepped to the side, he realized that the narrator was watching him. He wasn’t alone at all. Fear starts to enter into the bird’s blood, making him look for the nearest escape route. The bird is unsure of the narrator, and what his/her intentions are. The narrator might be there to cause harm, or the narrator could be there to express kindness as the bird did for the beetle. Folk wisdom has always said that the eyes are the windows to one’s soul. When the bird’s eyes glance all around, the fear is evident; only in a case of extreme fright would the bird’s eyes become beady and glassy (Andersen 119). At this point in the poem, the narrator is physically close to the bird. While the bird is afraid of the man who is close to him, we humans are afraid of the people closest to us. The people who know us best and are closest to us have the power to hurt us the most. We are so unaware of other’s eyes beating down us at times that we become victims quite easily. We may be accommodating to a point, but we should never be accommodating to the point that we lose our focus and our direction. We need to hold back from others so that we maintain some order in our lives. Fear cannot take control of us. When it does, we must get away from it somehow, just as the bird does. The fourth stanza of the poem shows the bird reacting to the narrator’s approach: “Like one in danger, cautious, / I offered him a Crumb / And he unrolled his feathers / And rowed him softer home.” Now, the narrator approaches the bird and offers to feed him, but the bird is frightened and flies away. The bird is quite small in comparison to the narrator. The narrator’s size is what scares the bird away. Charles R. Anderson notes that Dickinson “keeps the whole garden world reduced to the bird’s size. The [narrator] is left towering above and outside, having no magical elixir like Alice in Wonderland to shrink her down to a level where communication is possible” (Anderson 118). Jerome Loving agrees by pointing out that “if there is any suggestion of danger, it comes when the human narrator offers the bird a crumb. The truth is that nature is a nice place, a pastoral scene until man blunders on stage with the full weight of his past and future” (Loving 56). We humans have the same innate fear as birds when we face someone who is larger than we are. If someone is higher up on the corporate ladder than us, we are constantly afraid that he or she will fire us. Students have the fear of teachers failing them just as the bird feels the human will hurt him. Children feel afraid of their parents punishing them at times also. Everywhere we turn, there is someone who is stronger or more important than we are. We will always feel as though others are going to do something to hurt us; therefore, we need to escape this fear by running away like the bird does. If one looks at it another way, the bird could also be afraid of the entire world. Even though the beetle is smaller than the bird is, the bird might still be afraid. It is common knowledge that elephants are often afraid of mice, which are hundreds of times smaller than elephants are. Perhaps the bird’s nerves are on edge, and he is afraid of anything that makes a slight, sudden move. The beetle could cause harm too. Humans are often afraid of spiders and bees, which are quite small in comparison to man. Nevertheless, the bird runs away just as man does when confronted with a situation he fears. The fifth stanza shows that the bird flies away softly and quickly: “Than Oars divide the Ocean / Too silver for a seam / Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon / Leap, plashless as they swim.” The bird knows that it is in danger and must leave as quickly as possible. Also, the bird wants to leave quietly, in the hopes that the narrator doesn’t realize that the bird is leaving. We humans also try to leave swiftly and quietly. We know when we have been defeated, and we try to leave with our tail between our legs. We are ashamed and upset that someone has hurt us or tried to hurt us, so we escape. Running or flying away may not be the best way to handle the situation, but that is all that we know how to do. Man is accustomed to flee a situation rather than to confront it. Therefore, the bird, who represents man, flees too. According to Anderson, “The dangers as well as the beauty represented by nature at large… are here concentrated in a single bird that exhibits a complex mix of qualities: ferocity, fastidiousness, courtesy, fear, and grace” (Anderson 221). The bird in Emily Dickinson’s poem “A Bird Came Down the Walk” can be representative of humans, since humans have the qualities such as fear, courtesy, and grace in their personality. Dickinson’s poem comments on man’s innate fear of others. We humans are always being watched and when we realize how close someone is to us, we need to run for fear that (s)he will hurt us. Our fleeing is done with grace and courtesy. It is a reaction that all humans have at one point or another. Dickinson’s poem shows the readers this fear and the results of the fear on mankind. About Me For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Duane

    This is a huge volume of poetry and probably not meant to be read straight through, but that's what I did. Some of them I didn't like or understand, but there were many that I thought were beautiful and perfectly suited to my feelings. I think that's the way with most poets and their readers. After reading, I was left in wonder about this strange and reclusive woman who saw only a handful of her poems published before her death. She never knew she would be a success, never knew her poems would b This is a huge volume of poetry and probably not meant to be read straight through, but that's what I did. Some of them I didn't like or understand, but there were many that I thought were beautiful and perfectly suited to my feelings. I think that's the way with most poets and their readers. After reading, I was left in wonder about this strange and reclusive woman who saw only a handful of her poems published before her death. She never knew she would be a success, never knew her poems would be loved by millions of people, and never knew she would be considered one of the greatest American poets.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Edward

    Introduction --Poems Acknowledgments Previous Collections Subject Index Index of First Lines

  7. 4 out of 5

    Aubrey

    They shut me up in Prose — As when a little Girl They put me in the Closet — Because they liked me “still” — Still! Could themself have peeped — And seen my Brain — go round — They might as wise have lodged a Bird For Treason — in the Pound — Himself has but to will And easy as a Star Abolish his Captivity — And laugh — No more have I — I recently ran across an argument against eBooks that went along the lines of suspicions of censorship, commenting on how easy it would be for publishers and the like to c They shut me up in Prose — As when a little Girl They put me in the Closet — Because they liked me “still” — Still! Could themself have peeped — And seen my Brain — go round — They might as wise have lodged a Bird For Treason — in the Pound — Himself has but to will And easy as a Star Abolish his Captivity — And laugh — No more have I — I recently ran across an argument against eBooks that went along the lines of suspicions of censorship, commenting on how easy it would be for publishers and the like to change the text at any point via the digital interface, obfuscating any spot of material at any point thought necessary and rendering the interaction between reader and reading as puppet and puppeteer. A plausible occurrence, but an old one. Technology does not birth new abuses of communication and truth; it merely expedites, and leaves a different trail. A century and a quarter after Dickinson's death, almost sixty years after the last of her poems were finally published as they were meant to be, and still much too much is made of the means by which she composed. Never mind the seven years of higher learning, the keen network of letters enabling a vibrant circle of thought, the oeuvre itself in its wondrous breadth and brilliant insight that puts many a classical novel to shame. No, let us instead focus on how weird she was, how closeted her life, how quiet her compositions, how we rescued her work from the dire abyss and shaped it for the public whims and fancies as to how an American gentlewoman of that day and age should have written. How easy it is for us to focus on the cutesy trifles, the small morbidities, the things we call experimentation in men and "capriciousness" in women, that last word courtesy of Thomas H. Johnson, editor extraordinaire. So proud he was of his complete collection and yet still couldn't give his scholarly focus the benefit of the doubt. Endow the Living — with the Tears — You squander on the Dead, And They were Men and Women — now, Around Your Fireside — Instead of Passive Creatures, Denied the Cherishing Till They — the Cherishing deny — With Death's Ethereal Scorn — One favor Johnson did well enough when he wasn't patronizing his chosen poet was accompany every poem with two years: one of composition, the other of publication. The first of the review was written 1862, published 1935. The second also 1862, yet published 1945. Once the anger at such mincing censorship has cooled, the text becomes invaluable, for here is a shameless record of piece by piece persistence of a work through the consternation of the ages. Paranoia inspired by digital outposts has nothing on a history of flagrant editing, closeting, disbelief and pride, till the author finally gets her due in her own words if not those of others. God is indeed a jealous God — He cannot bear to see That we had rather not with Him But with each other play. Written unknown, published 1945. Multifaceted the academics say, as if this wasn't a lifetime contained in 1,775 proofs of existence whose range of thematic material could have easily come together into one of those weighty tomes popularized by those with sufficient freedom of time and respect of endeavor by both Self and Other. Thought, Truth, Ethics, Creation, Creed, Deserving Pride, Bound Despair, Fragility of Self, Violence of Intellectual Development, Inexorable Stretching of Time from Second to Eternity and All the Survival Between, to name just a few of the topics captured so surely in succinct measures in some of my favorites of hers, thirty-one in total and not a single one seen before in high school classrooms and other variations on the popularity context. If you want the scale of a legacy of ungrateful disrespect, try Moby-Dick; or, The Whale on for size. Now make Melville a woman. His Mind like Fabrics of the East Displayed to the despair Of everyone but here and there An humble Purchaser — For though his price was not of Gold — More arduous there is — That one should comprehend the worth Was all the price there was — Written 1878, published 1945. Even her compositional submission to virulent androcentrism couldn't revive this particular piece till near seventy years went by. Her mind was a marvel and knew it, too, clear evidence in her just contempt, her needful compartmentalization, her courting with the furthest ends of triumph and sheer oblivion. She never needed to go to war to know the futility of achieving glory and fame by means of homicidal finality, nor venture far from her chosen methodology of creation to contemplate the rise and fall of Life and Ideal the world over. Milton was blind when he conjured up Paradise Lost through dictation to his daughters, and nary a murmur that mayhap some of the result was her or her own. Dickinson was a woman who found the means to contemplate; the rest is sordid history and ugly present. Witchcraft was hung, in History, But History and I Find all the Witchcraft that we need Around us, every Day — Written 1883, published 1945. I think I was enchanted When first a somber Girl — I read that Foreign Lady — The Dark — felt beautiful — [...] Written 1862, published 1935. [...] My Splendors, are Menagerie — But their Completeless Show Will entertain the Centuries When I, am long ago, An Island in dishonored Grass — Whom none but Beetles — know. Written 1861, published 1896. Whitman's multitudes came first, but Dickinson knew the difference then as bitingly as she would now. She was dead when others came to rifle through her work, and still they insisted on putting it and her persona through the torturous paces of then till today. Her words excavated themselves long before technology came into play; how long till we stop pretending otherwise? P.S. She talked about the Birds and the Bees a lot. Just saying.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Janice

    Emily Dickinson's poems convinced me, at an early age of 9 or 10, to become a writer myself. I discovered her poems from the obsolete American textbooks my mother got from the collection in our school library. On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, when it was too hot to play outside and children were forced to take afternoon siestas, I'd end up reading her poems and imagined the person, that woman, with whom I shared similar thoughts. My favorite poem remains to this day: I'm nobody! Who are you? Are Emily Dickinson's poems convinced me, at an early age of 9 or 10, to become a writer myself. I discovered her poems from the obsolete American textbooks my mother got from the collection in our school library. On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, when it was too hot to play outside and children were forced to take afternoon siestas, I'd end up reading her poems and imagined the person, that woman, with whom I shared similar thoughts. My favorite poem remains to this day: I'm nobody! Who are you? Are you nobody, too? Then there's a pair of us -- don't tell! They'd banish us, you know. How dreary to be somebody! How public, like a frog To tell your name the livelong day To an admiring bog! I knew of course that she never became famous in her lifetime, and that was something she didn't particularly aim for. But her poems assured me that there was something else I needed to do, somewhere else I had to be. Like everything, including our physical state was just temporary. So I grew up looking forward to the day when I'd have enough courage to write about my thoughts and feelings and be able to say, this is my letter to the world who never wrote to me... ;)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dolors

    “I taste a liquor never brewed” by Emily Dickinson I taste a liquor never brewed – From Tankards scooped in Pearl – Not all the Vats upon the Rhine Yield such an Alcohol! Inebriate of air – am I – And Debauchee of Dew – Reeling – thro' endless summer days – From inns of molten Blue – When "Landlords" turn the drunken Bee Out of the Foxglove's door – When Butterflies – renounce their "drams" – I shall but drink the more! Till Seraphs swing their snowy Hats – And Saints – to windows run – To see the little Tippl “I taste a liquor never brewed” by Emily Dickinson I taste a liquor never brewed – From Tankards scooped in Pearl – Not all the Vats upon the Rhine Yield such an Alcohol! Inebriate of air – am I – And Debauchee of Dew – Reeling – thro' endless summer days – From inns of molten Blue – When "Landlords" turn the drunken Bee Out of the Foxglove's door – When Butterflies – renounce their "drams" – I shall but drink the more! Till Seraphs swing their snowy Hats – And Saints – to windows run – To see the little Tippler Leaning against the – Sun! Inebriated by poetry "I taste a liquor never brewed" a poem by E. Dickinson For me, this is an hymn to poetry and what is sacred about the act of writing. I read line after line as an invocation to beauty in all its natural forms until I got drunk with it, until I, the reader, was able to reach the heavens and join its inhabitants, Seraphs and Saints, along with Emily, who is writing from there. In this sense, I guess that we, the readers who are able to share beauty through words, are rewarded with the admittance in Dickinson's house of possibility and poetry. The poem read also as an hymn for me because of its musicality and rhyme which I became aware of when I first read the poem out loud. The way the words sang by themselves came as a surprise, and the lack of punctuation, only the dashes and the capital letters to emphasise some words, made the poem more open and infinite. Analysing stanza by stanza, the poem starts with a reference to a certain liquor, which is a strange one, because it was never brewed and because its vastness wouldn't fit into such a huge river as the Rhine. There's also the reference to the ancient age of this liquor, because the Rhine, along with the Danube, appeared as important rivers in historical texts during the Roman Empire. So, going forward, this strange alcohol, makes the " I " in this poem inebriated. I understand this " I " as the writer, in this case, Emily. She speaks of herself being drunk with this strange liquor, a liquor which comes from dew, air and summer days melted in endless blue skies. As I see it, in this second stanza, Emily is describing the beauty of the natural world as overwhelming, she is dizzy, intoxicated with it, and she drinks it in the inns of Nature. And in the third stanza she stresses out this last idea even more, because the more the inhabitants of this natural world, the bee, the foxglove, the butterfly, are denied by foreign "Landlords", emphasised by quotation marks, the more she drinks of this natural liquor, the more inebriated she becomes. As for the interpretation of these Landlords, I take it as if they were the real world, the rationality, Emily's house of prose. The ones who call the imagination back to earth and out of this world of poetry and possibility. The last stanza is for me, the most difficult to analyse. Emily is intoxicated by the beauty of nature and ultimately, of poetry, but she keeps drinking and drinking in it, until the whole act of writing becomes sacred. I understand that she reaches heaven in the Biblical sense, and salvation if I dare say. I'll risk it by saying that this "Tippler" might be Jesus, leaning against this sun, this shinning light, waiting for her to reach out for her destiny, her fate, her mission in life, which is to write, to become a poet. And just another conclusion after rereading the whole thing again. I also think, that the metaphor of liquor and inebriation is not a casual one. If you think of men drinking in inns and socialising in the XIXth century, you might wonder how a reclusive person as Emily might view this kind of activity. Surely she might have disapproved of someone getting drunk, and this poem might also be a criticism to such behaviour and at the same time, she elevates something she finds ugly or negative to an utterly magnificent and celestial act, the act of writing, proving its capacity to transform the dull world of reality into a beautiful fan of possibilities.

  10. 5 out of 5

    JV

    Sigh... I just experienced poetic gut punches from Emily herself. From this collection alone, there's a total of 1,775 poems. Blimey! A huge compilation if you ask me! Honestly, I didn't read every poem, because that would probably result in me having a mushy brain (poor noodle!). I just skimmed through a lot of them and just selected those that are meaningful to me. Her poems are oftentimes cryptic in nature (which made me scratch my head), but there are those that connect quite well with me. M Sigh... I just experienced poetic gut punches from Emily herself. From this collection alone, there's a total of 1,775 poems. Blimey! A huge compilation if you ask me! Honestly, I didn't read every poem, because that would probably result in me having a mushy brain (poor noodle!). I just skimmed through a lot of them and just selected those that are meaningful to me. Her poems are oftentimes cryptic in nature (which made me scratch my head), but there are those that connect quite well with me. Most of Emily's poems are full of bliss, despair, life, death, love, and nature, but most of the time, she obsessively delves into the dark aspect of life — mortality. This might be due to her life experiences as she witnessed the deaths of her closest family members and friends. A life of solitude, Emily preferred (heck, this woman obviously and seriously needs a hug!); and as reclusive as she is, she channeled her inner feelings in creating some of the most enduring poems that the world has loved. And as for me, I'd rather eat my feelings, because that's what I'm good at. *Spoiler tags aren't actually spoilers, just used those to expand/compress the poems.* It's all I have to bring today(view spoiler)[ It's all I have to bring today — This, and my heart beside — This, and my heart, and all the fields — And all the meadows wide — Be sure you count — should I forget Some one the sum could tell — This, and my heart, and all the Bees Which in the Clover dwell. (hide spoiler)] If recollecting were forgetting,(view spoiler)[ If recollecting were forgetting, Then I remember not And if forgetting, recollecting, How near I had forgot. And if to miss, were merry, And to mourn, were gay, How very blithe the fingers That gathered this, Today! (hide spoiler)] Heart! We will forget him!(view spoiler)[ Heart! We will forget him! You and I — tonight! You may forget the warmth he gave — I will forget the light! When you have done, pray tell me That I may straight begin! Haste! lest while you're lagging I remember him! (hide spoiler)] Good night, because we must,(view spoiler)[ Good night, because we must, How intricate the dust! I would go, to know! Oh incognito! Saucy, Saucy Seraph To elude me so! Father! they won't tell me, Won't you tell them to? (hide spoiler)] Cocoon above! Cocoon below!(view spoiler)[ Cocoon above! Cocoon below! Stealthy Cocoon, why hide you so What all the world suspect? An hour, and gay on every tree Your secret, perched in ecstasy Defies imprisonment! An hour in Chrysalis to pass, Then gay above receding grass A Butterfly to go! A moment to interrogate, Then wiser than a "Surrogate," The Universe to know! (hide spoiler)] He was weak, and I was strong(view spoiler)[ He was weak, and I was strong — then — So He let me lead him in — I was weak, and He was strong then — So I let him lead me — Home. 'Twasn't far — the door was near — 'Twasn't dark — for He went — too' — 'Twasn't loud, for He said nought — That was all I cared to know. Day knocked -and we must part — Neither was strongest — now — He strove — and I strove — too — We didn't do It — tho'! (hide spoiler)] I Came to buy a smile — today(view spoiler)[ I Came to buy a smile — today — But just a single smile — The smallest one upon your face Will suit me just as well — The one that no one else would miss It shone so very small — I'm pleading at the "counter"— sir — Could you afford to sell — I've Diamonds — on my fingers — You know what Diamonds are? I've Rubies — like the Evening Blood — And Topaz — like the star! 'Twould be "a Bargain" for a Jew' Say — may I have it — Sir? (hide spoiler)] I held a Jewel m my fingers(view spoiler)[ I held a Jewel in my fingers— And went to sleep — The day was warm, and winds were prosy — I said " 'TWill keep" — I woke — and chid my honest fingers, The Gem was gone — And now, an Amethyst remembrance Is all I own — (hide spoiler)] "Hope" is the thing With feathers(view spoiler)[ "Hope" is the thing With feathers — That perches in the soul — And sings the tune Without the words — And never stops — at all — And sweetest — in the Gale — is heard — And sore must be the storm — That could abash the little Bird That kept so many warm — I've heard it in the chillest land — And on the strangest Sea — Yet, never, in Extremity, It asked a crumb — of Me. (hide spoiler)] I felt a Funeral, m my Brain,(view spoiler)[ I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, And Mourners to and fro Kept treading — treading — till it seemed That Sense was breaking through — And when they all were seated, A Service, like a Drum — Kept beating — beating — till I thought My Mind was going numb — And then I heard them lift a Box And creak across my Soul With those same Boots of Lead, again, Then Space — began to toll, As all the Heavens were a Bell, And Being, but an Ear, And I, and Silence, some strange Race Wrecked, solitary, here — And then a Plank in Reason, broke, And I dropped down, and down — And hit a World, at every plunge, And Finished knowing — then — (hide spoiler)] I'm Nobody! Who are you?(view spoiler)[ 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! How dreary — to be — Somebody! How public — like a Frog — To tell one's name — the livelong June — To an admiring Bog! (hide spoiler)] It's like the Light(view spoiler)[ It's like the Light — A fashionless Delight — It's like the Bee — A dateless — Melody — It's like the Woods — Private — Like the Breeze Phraseless — yet it stirs The proudest Trees — It's like the Morning — Best — when it's done — And the Everlasting Clocks — Chime — Noon! (hide spoiler)] I cannot dance upon my Toes(view spoiler)[ I cannot dance upon my Toes — No Man instructed me — But oftentimes, among my mind, A Glee possesseth me, That had I Ballet knowledge — Would put itself abroad In Pirouette to blanch a Troupe — Or lay a Prima, mad, And though I had no Gown of Gauze — No Ringlet, to my Hair, Nor hopped to Audiences — like Birds, One Claw upon the Air, Nor tossed my shape in Eider Balls, Nor rolled on wheels of snow Till I was out of sight, in sound, The House encore me so — Nor any know I know the Art I ment1on — easy — Here — Nor any Placard boast me — It's full as Opera — (hide spoiler)] A Bird came down the Walk(view spoiler)[ A Bird came down the Walk — He did not know I saw — He bit an Angleworm in halves And ate the fellow, raw, And then he drank a Dew From a convenient Grass — And then hopped sidewise to the Wall To let a Beetle pass — He glanced with rapid eyes That hurried all around — They looked like frightened Beads, I thought — He stirred his Velvet Head Like one in danger, Cautious, I offered him a Crumb And he unrolled his feathers And rowed him softer home — Than Oars divide the Ocean, Too silver for a seam — Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon Leap, plashless as they swim. (hide spoiler)] Death sets a Thing significant(view spoiler)[ Death sets a Thing significant The Eye had hurried by Except a perished Creature Entreat us tenderly To ponder little Workmanships In Crayon, or in Wool, With "This was last Her fingers did" — Industrious until — The Thimble weighed too heavy — The stitches stopped — themselves — And then 'twas put among the Dust Upon the Closet shelves — A Book I have — a friend gave — Whose Pencil — here and there — Had notched the place that pleased Him — At Rest — His fingers are — Now — when I read — I read not — For interrupting Tears — Obliterate the Etchings Too Costly for Repairs. (hide spoiler)] This is my letter to the World(view spoiler)[ This is my letter to the World That never wrote to Me — The simple News that Nature told — W1th tender Majesty Her Message is committed To Hands I cannot see — For love of Her — Sweet — countrymen — Judge tenderly — of Me (hide spoiler)] I heard a Fly buzz — when I died(view spoiler)[ I heard a Fly buzz — when I died — The Stillness in the Room Was like the Stillness in the Air — Between the Heaves of Storm — The Eyes around — had wrung them dry — And Breaths were gathering firm For that last Onset — when the King Be witnessed — in the Room — I willed my Keepsakes — Signed away What portion of me be Assignable — and then It was There interposed a Fly — With Blue — uncertain stumbling Buzz — Between the light — and me — And then the Windows failed — and then I could not see to see — (hide spoiler)] "Why do I love" You, Sir?(view spoiler)[ "Why do I love" You, Sir? Because — The Wind does not require the Grass To answer — Wherefore when He pass She cannot keep Her place. Because He knows — and Do not You — And We know not — Enough for Us The Wisdom it be so — The Lightning — never asked an Eye Wherefore it shut — when He was by — Because He knows it cannot speak — And reasons not contained — — Of Talk — There be — preferred by Daintier Folk — The Sunnse — Sir — compelleth Me — Because He's Sunrise — and I see — Therefore — Then — I love Thee — (hide spoiler)] I would not paint — a picture(view spoiler)[ I would not paint — a picture — I'd rather be the One Its bright Impossibility To dwell — delicious — on — And wonder how the fingers feel Whose rare — celestial — stir — Evokes so sweet a Torment — Such sumptuous — Despair — I would not talk, like Cornets— I'd rather be the One Raised softly to the Ceilings — And out, and easy on — Through Villages of Ether — Myself endued Balloon By but a lip of Metal — The pier to my Pontoon — Nor would I be a Poet — It's finer — own the Ear — Enamored — Impotent — content — The License to revere, A privilege so awful What would the Dower be, Had I the Art to stun myself With Bolts of Melody (hide spoiler)] To fill a Gap(view spoiler)[ To fill a Gap Insert the Thing that caused it — Block it up With Other — and 'twill yawn the more — You cannot solder an Abyss With Air. (hide spoiler)] Because I could not stop for Death(view spoiler)[ Because I could not stop for Death — He kindly stopped for me — The Carriage held but just Ourselves — And Immortality. We slowly drove — He knew no haste And I had put away My labor and my leisure too, For His Civility — We passed the School, where Children strove At Recess — in the Ring — We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain — We passed the Setting Sun — Or rather — He passed Us — The Dews drew quivering and chill — For only Gossamer, my Gown — My Tippet — only Tulle — We paused before a House that seemed A Swelling of the Ground — The Roof was scarcely visible — The Cornice — in the Ground — Since then — 'tis Centuries — and yet Feels shorter than the Day I fust surmised the Horses' Heads Were toward Eternity — (hide spoiler)] How happy I was if I could forget(view spoiler)[ How happy I was if I could forget To remember how sad I am Would be an easy adversity But the recollecting of Bloom Keeps making November difficult Till I who was almost bold Lose my way like a little Child And perish of the cold. (hide spoiler)] I hide myself within my flower,(view spoiler)[ I hide myself within my flower, That fading from your Vase, You, unsuspecting, feel for me — Almost a loneliness. (hide spoiler)] Love — is anterior to Life(view spoiler)[ Love — is anterior to Life — Posterior — to Death — Initial of Creation, and The Exponent of Earth — (hide spoiler)] A word is dead(view spoiler)[ A word is dead When it is said, Some say. I say it just Begins to live That day. (hide spoiler)] They might not need me — yet they might(view spoiler)[ They might not need me — yet they might — I'll let my Heart be just in sight — A smile so small as mine might be Precisely their necessity — (hide spoiler)] Opinion is a flitting thing,(view spoiler)[ Opinion is a flitting thing, But Truth, outlasts the Sun — If then we cannot own them both — Possess the oldest one — (hide spoiler)]

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Emily Dickinson articulates my own thoughts and feelings in a way I never could. She manifests my ideal. She validates my existence. If you like Emily, I like you. I hide myself within my flower, That wearing on your breast, You, unsuspecting, wear me too— And angels know the rest. I hide myself within my flower, That, fading from your vase, You, unsuspecting, feel for me Almost a loneliness.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Zazo

    the complete poem by Emily Dickinson with the help of the prowling Bee, by Susan Kornfeld I was able to go behind the scenes in Emily Dickinson works after 3 months of reading plan i would say Emily Dickinson is pure and one-of-a-kind no doubt

  13. 4 out of 5

    Eryn

    4 stars After reading through most of these poems, Emily remains one of my top favorite poets. However, I also came across many poems that I felt no connection with and frankly made no sense to me. So with that in mind, I unfortunately couldn't give this 5 stars. Still a great experience though! I highly recommend this book if you're a fan of poetry and/or Emily Dickinson.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    I love Dickinson. More specifically, I love the sense of balance I feel when reading any of her poems. Her poetry has light within its overwhelming darkness; it is straightforward yet subtle. Its originality is sometimes even startling. I have learned so much in reading her work but the most powerful of lessons I take from Dickinson is to "Tell all the truth but tell it slant... The Truth must dazzle gradually/ Or every man be blind."

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    See the Dickinson documentary A Loaded Gun for my take on this writer, arguably the best poet in English. (I play the villain in that film directed by James Wolpaw.) I have given reading-whistlings of ED's bird poems*, from memory of course, in the garden of the Dickinson Manse in Amherst, and I have recited an hour of Dickinson on several occasions (from memory). In fact, Dickinson is fairly easy to memorize--a hallmark of fine verse. Perhaps only Yeats' tetrametric "Under Ben Bulben" is easier See the Dickinson documentary A Loaded Gun for my take on this writer, arguably the best poet in English. (I play the villain in that film directed by James Wolpaw.) I have given reading-whistlings of ED's bird poems*, from memory of course, in the garden of the Dickinson Manse in Amherst, and I have recited an hour of Dickinson on several occasions (from memory). In fact, Dickinson is fairly easy to memorize--a hallmark of fine verse. Perhaps only Yeats' tetrametric "Under Ben Bulben" is easier to recall, and maybe a couple Seventeenth Century lyrics, and maybe a ballad or two. (I may add, as a Shakespearean for 35 years, I have memorized a couple dozen of his sonnets and maybe twenty major speeches. Some of his sonnets are easy to memorize: one I learned in ten minutes one morning walking; others I have to re-memorize every year.) I recommend reading this poet three poems a day for a year and a half. They resonate so much that time between them rewards the reader. If you read them straight through, you may withdraw your participation in the text. Some other Dickinson critiques I have published in my Birdtalk (Random House/ Frog, 2003). * In winters I always recite her Blue Jay, "No Brigadier throughout the year/ So Civic as the Jay..." and always her Oriole, "One of the ones that Midas touched/ Who failed to touch us all.." as well as a couple of her short Robin poems, "The Robin is the One/ That interrupts the Morn/ With Hurried, few, express Reports/When March is scarecely on," or "A bird came down the walk./He did not know I saw/ He bit an Angleworm in half/ And ate the fellow--Raw."

  16. 4 out of 5

    J.M. Hushour

    Running upwards of 1,700 poems, there's no conceivable way I could read them all. I settled for maybe half. That's not to say I'm not tempted to read them all, but Dickinson is one of those fine poets who begin to run a little stale after the first 200 or so poems. Best to step off and return to it later. Don't get me wrong, her innovative poetics is almost ghastly in its profundity, so much so that people use words like 'profundity' or say that she, who had no powers of prescience that her biogr Running upwards of 1,700 poems, there's no conceivable way I could read them all. I settled for maybe half. That's not to say I'm not tempted to read them all, but Dickinson is one of those fine poets who begin to run a little stale after the first 200 or so poems. Best to step off and return to it later. Don't get me wrong, her innovative poetics is almost ghastly in its profundity, so much so that people use words like 'profundity' or say that she, who had no powers of prescience that her biographers are aware of, 'anticipated modernity', whatever that means. That means nothing. We don't need to place her. I think she was beyond that. Still is. Her poetry is almost drunken--staccato and broken and weird and refusing. In short, wonderful.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jennie Rogers

    I will be returning to Dickinson's poetry frequently, "my perennial nest"

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ana

    The pages hold beauty, truth and a sly kind of humor...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jo

    This book boasts a fabulous collection of work's by Emily Dickinson. Admittedly, I didn't enjoy all of them, hence the four stars given, but the majority of the poem's were beautifully written, as well as being rather thought provoking. "He fumbles at your spirit As players at the keys Before they drop full music on; He stuns you by degrees, Prepares your brittle substance For the ethereal blow, By fainter hammers, further heard, Then nearer, then so slow Your breath has time to straighten. Your This book boasts a fabulous collection of work's by Emily Dickinson. Admittedly, I didn't enjoy all of them, hence the four stars given, but the majority of the poem's were beautifully written, as well as being rather thought provoking. "He fumbles at your spirit As players at the keys Before they drop full music on; He stuns you by degrees, Prepares your brittle substance For the ethereal blow, By fainter hammers, further heard, Then nearer, then so slow Your breath has time to straighten. Your brain to bubble cool,- Deals one imperial thunderbolt That scalps your naked soul"

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kristopher

    I would highly, highly recommend strolling through Dickinson's collected verse. She's a (surprisingly) highly underrated poet. Going deep into her entire collection will unearth unknown gems as well as old favorites. This edition, organized chronologically, allows the opportunity to study her growth as a poet and explore her obsessions over time. It also provides the date of first publication (if there was one). A must-have for any poetry enthusiast, highly recommended for those who have a modes I would highly, highly recommend strolling through Dickinson's collected verse. She's a (surprisingly) highly underrated poet. Going deep into her entire collection will unearth unknown gems as well as old favorites. This edition, organized chronologically, allows the opportunity to study her growth as a poet and explore her obsessions over time. It also provides the date of first publication (if there was one). A must-have for any poetry enthusiast, highly recommended for those who have a modest interest in poetry since it collects all of the poetry of one of America's most influential, accessible, and subtly complex poets.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

    A brilliant and one-of-a-kind poet!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Angigames

    Emily, ogni tua poesia è un sogno! La tua mente è così superiore che non posso permettermi di scrivere nulla su di te. Le tue poesie sono magiche, le ho adorate tutte! CONSIGLIATO.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Langstaff

    The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson Thomas H. Johnson, ed.--The Definitive Text, Accept No Substitute (c) Copyright 2012 Margaret Langstaff. All rights reserved. [from the forthcoming Reading Emily Dickinson by Margaret Langstaff] So often misunderstood and ill-served by her editors and publishers, Emily Dickinson is a rara avis among major American poets. She shunned the spotlight, kept to herself and her family in her home in Amherst, MA, refusing to cater to popular tastes. She never publishe The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson Thomas H. Johnson, ed.--The Definitive Text, Accept No Substitute (c) Copyright 2012 Margaret Langstaff. All rights reserved. [from the forthcoming Reading Emily Dickinson by Margaret Langstaff] So often misunderstood and ill-served by her editors and publishers, Emily Dickinson is a rara avis among major American poets. She shunned the spotlight, kept to herself and her family in her home in Amherst, MA, refusing to cater to popular tastes. She never published in her lifetime, made in fact only a few overtures to editors who were so staid and conventional that they hadn't the insight or imagination to appreciate her originality. Yet on her death she left a dresser drawer-full of thousands of poems, variant versions, snippets, notes, a massive welter of handwritten manuscripts that required a herculean effort to sort and assemble into the works she considered "poetry" and to file the detritus as "jottings, random thoughts, random expostulations." Not until this definitive edition of her texts appeared in 1955, edited by the scrupulous, meticulous textual scholar and Dickinson expert Thomas H Johnson, did this poet get a fair shake and accurate representation in print of her life's work. Sadly most of what is parlayed online and in stores as her "poetry" is still butchered, and only amounts to sanitized, "regularized" versions of what she actually wrote, and the unsuspecting reader is none the wiser unless he or she happens to have studied Dickinson under a knowledgeable instructor or at the university level. If you want to read and understand her work, this edition of her poems must be the basis for your appreciation and judgment, and none other. All of her other so-called "editors" changed her meter, spellings, capitalizations (all of which were "odd" yet deliberate departures from the norm for poetic effect). I also highly recommend Richard B. Sewell's incomparable biography, The Life of Emily Dickinson. Immensely readable, even compelling, and bristling with telling details that place the poet within the context of her times and New England heritage, it gives one an even deeper appreciation of what she overcame ("renounced") to pursue her art, and illuminates dimensions and aspects of the poems otherwise hidden to the modern reader. I've studied Dickinson for over 30 years and written articles and a few books on her work and life, and I must say to any new reader: don't fall for the stereotypes, the cliches, and the b.s. aplenty that have always clouded her reputation and led the general public astray. Read deeply and see for yourself. Start by reading the "real" thing. Her finished poems as she wrote them, not as her editors "corrected" them and not the snippets and notes she made to herself to possibly work into poems. Both as an individual and as a poet she will always remain elusive, but then she believed in the mystery at the heart of life herself, considered her own life a mystery, but tried to approach the essence and experience of the luminous "mysterium tremendum et fascinans" by capturing its beauty and profundity with metaphor and lyric. Her Letters are also a treat, a treasure, for she was a devoted, loyal friend and tireless witty letter writer all of her life. Her epistolary style reflects to some degree her poetic penchants and inclinations, highly metaphorical, striking, surprising. In some ways they (the letters) are even more revealing of how she interacted with those whom she loved the most and are most telling of the qualities of her character and resonant of(if not fully disclosing) the particular pivotal events of her life. Certainly she was one of a kind, far more sophisticated and worldly than most think even today, shrewd, widely read, a critical insightful reader and observer of life's conundrums and vagaries, current events, including the Civil War, the issues of the day... Anyone who has read her seriously would be hard put to find a comparable poet or life in literature or body of work. Yes, other poets (one thinks of Hopkins, Roethke, literally hundreds of other poets in many ages), have shared her intuitions and, to a certain extent her insights, but none have produced lasting verse in her singular aphoristic and numinous style. As for myself, I cannot even think of any poet or body of poetry that "reminds me of Emily Dickinson" or is "reminiscent of Emily Dickinson." Nor is it easy or plausible to suggest she was significantly influenced by any particular poetic tradition or other poet, though she read widely and deeply, and occasionally reverentially, the works of all the major poets in English. Dickinson's uniqueness, her very singularity, inimitability, is (I believe) the hallmark of only the greatest poets, and by that measure it is safe to say she will be read and appreciated, at last, for a long, long time. Margaret Langstaff, April 2012

  24. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    What can I say? Emily Dickinson's poetry is the most stunning, haunting poetry I've ever read. I'd read just a few of her poems before decidin to tackle her complete works. It's an incredible experience to read poem after poem that almost makes you feel like she understood the emotions of mortality better than anyone alive. And how she could convey that with words ... wow.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Haley

    bees??

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lightsey

    Update: I am at last finished (after a year of not really steady reading). Now I just have to start memorizing. . . The result of reading the full Emily is only greater curiosity. Now I want to see the poems as she arranged them, in their packets. The chron. arrangement pokes at a biographical revelation that ultimately seems beside the point. . . I'd rather just take her inner world as its own end. On the other hand, I've also started an edition of her letters. --She is fascinating. I'm wonderi Update: I am at last finished (after a year of not really steady reading). Now I just have to start memorizing. . . The result of reading the full Emily is only greater curiosity. Now I want to see the poems as she arranged them, in their packets. The chron. arrangement pokes at a biographical revelation that ultimately seems beside the point. . . I'd rather just take her inner world as its own end. On the other hand, I've also started an edition of her letters. --She is fascinating. I'm wondering now how to present her work to students so they can see more than the sometimes-obvious surface. * Update: I've gotten now to the older ED. At this point, she's dryer, less intense. Two-word abstractions fill entire lines. You get the sense of a life lived among a paucity of objects, in which each object gradually assumes nearly allegorical significance. I'm also thinking that ED is a fantasist. She writes something that she wants to read in order to stoke a certain fantasy of hers--a fantasy of unique suffering, of delayed reward. It isn't a fantasy that appeals to me (putting anything off is a bad bet). But that doesn't mean I think it makes for bad poetry. ** I feel a bit stupid for not having read this before (and I still haven't gotten over reading Plath so late)--but, on the other hand, I think Dickinson could have been a powerfully bad influence if I'd read her earlier (Plath too). As it is I get her rhythms (quietly didactic, like a girl teaching mice) thumping through my head whenever I put the book aside. . . -- I hate to add this, because I know I'll be reading it for, oh, the next six months, and then for the ten years after that, but I need to assert that I am still intellectually active, despite being drowned in freshman comp. Anyway--reading the complete is quite different than reading poems here and there. You get more of a sense of her world--which oscillates between having a paucity of objects and being (she protests) plenty rich enough. You also get her conflation of various male figures (god, a lover) into some many-faced male Outside. In general the poetry just seems deeper. So I must highly recommend reading the complete ED over any selection.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bill Dauster

    This splendid book collects Miss Dickinson’s fruitful progeny. Before her time, she mastered the short form and slant rhyme that epitomize the modern poem. Yes, she spends far too much time lamenting death and contemplating bees, but her mostly private thoughts leave a mark on the American soul. "Tell all the Truth but tell it slant — Success in Circuit lies Too bright for our infirm Delight The Truth's superb surprise As Lightning to the Children eased With explanation kind The Truth must dazzle grad This splendid book collects Miss Dickinson’s fruitful progeny. Before her time, she mastered the short form and slant rhyme that epitomize the modern poem. Yes, she spends far too much time lamenting death and contemplating bees, but her mostly private thoughts leave a mark on the American soul. "Tell all the Truth but tell it slant — Success in Circuit lies Too bright for our infirm Delight The Truth's superb surprise As Lightning to the Children eased With explanation kind The Truth must dazzle gradually Or every man be blind —"

  28. 5 out of 5

    Selby

    "MUCH madness is divinest sense To a discerning eye; Much sense the starkest madness. 'T is the majority In this, as all, prevails. Assent, and you are sane; Demur, - you're straightway dangerous, And handled with a chain." A perfect collection for a perfect poet. Poems small in length but gigantic in impact. For a classic example look above. Some argue it is about John Brown, written shortly after his execution, an interpretation I adore. Fantastic.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    "Hope" is the thing with feathers— That perches in the soul— And sings the tune without the words— And never stops—at all— And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard— And sore must be the storm— That could abash the little Bird That kept so many warm— I've heard it in the chillest land— And on the strangest Sea— Yet, never, in Extremity, It asked a crumb—of Me.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Disappointing overall. She certainly had a particular voice and style, and I can see why it would appeal to some. I found her poems to be very repetitive and didn’t find much that stood out to me. There was one exception: Tell all the truth but tell it slant — Success in Circuit lies Too bright for our infirm Delight The Truth's superb surprise As Lightning to the Children eased With explanation kind The Truth must dazzle gradually Or every man be blind —

  31. 4 out of 5

    Nils Samuels

    At her best, ED combines a tight form with words that should trouble us, about the limits of knowing and about the terror of death, which are sometimes one and the same. Along with Whitman, the first great (because the first realistic) American poet.

  32. 5 out of 5

    Etienne

    There is so much to say about this book. I decided to read the works of Emily Dickinson after I saw her name everywhere for a couple of week. I saw quotes from her in a book, a book about her, her name mentioned in another, and so on. So I found this book and decided to read her works in English, because let’s be honest, translated novel can be alright but translate poetry... less sure. I read it in English even if this is not my first language and I knew that some part of the beauty of the poet There is so much to say about this book. I decided to read the works of Emily Dickinson after I saw her name everywhere for a couple of week. I saw quotes from her in a book, a book about her, her name mentioned in another, and so on. So I found this book and decided to read her works in English, because let’s be honest, translated novel can be alright but translate poetry... less sure. I read it in English even if this is not my first language and I knew that some part of the beauty of the poetry would be lost to me, I still feel I would get more of her works by reading it in its original writing. It was amazing! I find some poems or a couple of lines here and there, that really speak to me. Some of it did not have the same effect, but you can expect a book that big with so many poems to please you with every one of them. I loved the poetry, the writing, the subject and the writer, this is a case of a writer that is bigger then her works, with all the mysteries and all around her. Fascinating work and author that I would recommend to everyone you want to explore poetry.

  33. 5 out of 5

    Phillip

    i've been reading these for years. there have always been a few that took me by surprise, but lately i find this whole collection to be a really astonishing experiment in language - it's taken me years to see how modern she is (for you dickinson fans, i'm sure you're saying, well, DUH!). i say this because her work really is a kind of minimalism. she seems to to have more patience than most poets. she waits until the perfect formation of sounds and meanings emerge in just the right crystalline f i've been reading these for years. there have always been a few that took me by surprise, but lately i find this whole collection to be a really astonishing experiment in language - it's taken me years to see how modern she is (for you dickinson fans, i'm sure you're saying, well, DUH!). i say this because her work really is a kind of minimalism. she seems to to have more patience than most poets. she waits until the perfect formation of sounds and meanings emerge in just the right crystalline formation, and then she stops. and if you are also patient, you begin to see how perfectly each one is shaped, conceived, delivered. i also applaud her for never using titles...the poems are all numbered. **************** summer (august) of 2012 - i'm finally getting around to setting some of these wonderful poems to music - i'm writing for string orchestra, piano and mixed choir. i've chosen the following poems to set: #254 #446 #447 #1444 #1448 #1676 #1659 #1654 #1655 and so far, i have composed music for: #254 #446 #447 #1448 ideally, i would like to have seven to set in a suite. ************************* forgot to update this - set the 9 poems, and it was performed last december. i'm finally getting a recording of the work to check out - looking forward to seeing it (it was videotaped) ... i was so busy conducting the work that i hardly had time to experience it with any clarity.

  34. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

    Overall I as a little disappointed with this collection of poems. It's not that she isn't a good writer, but I think I would have preferred a selection of her poems to a complete collection. I remember I liked her in high school too, so I was kind of bummed out reading (or maybe rereading) this collection. Let's just say you read one poem, you read them all with Dickinson. I do think she is very important for women's writing in America and I do find her life more interesting. Maybe I'd like a bio Overall I as a little disappointed with this collection of poems. It's not that she isn't a good writer, but I think I would have preferred a selection of her poems to a complete collection. I remember I liked her in high school too, so I was kind of bummed out reading (or maybe rereading) this collection. Let's just say you read one poem, you read them all with Dickinson. I do think she is very important for women's writing in America and I do find her life more interesting. Maybe I'd like a biography on her better. The main issue I didn't care for these poems was they got repetitive. This time around, I didn't care for her style as much either. However, she has a voice. I do look for voices when I read, that stand out, compared to other writers. I can say she reminds me of other poets, but she has her own voice. I just wish her voice was a little louder. And what is with Dickinson and bees? Does anyone know?

  35. 5 out of 5

    Chiara Pagliochini

    Quando penso a Emily, raramente penso a uno scrittore, a un poeta, a un artista. Il più delle volte mi affido a lei come se fosse una persona, una persona cara, una bambina da consolare. Nella mia testa Emily è una bambina che ha bisogno di un abbraccio e che allo stesso tempo sa abbracciare me nei momenti del bisogno. Quando sto male, quando sento che nessuno può capirmi, Emily è qui con me: lei sa come mi sento, lei può unire il suo dolore al mio. A condividerle le ferite si fanno meno sentire. S Quando penso a Emily, raramente penso a uno scrittore, a un poeta, a un artista. Il più delle volte mi affido a lei come se fosse una persona, una persona cara, una bambina da consolare. Nella mia testa Emily è una bambina che ha bisogno di un abbraccio e che allo stesso tempo sa abbracciare me nei momenti del bisogno. Quando sto male, quando sento che nessuno può capirmi, Emily è qui con me: lei sa come mi sento, lei può unire il suo dolore al mio. A condividerle le ferite si fanno meno sentire. So di esagerare. Innanzitutto, non sono un poeta e non ho remotamente la grandezza di sentire di questa piccola donna. Ciò che tento di dire è che, al di là della sua poesia, Emily è per me un punto di riferimento, un ricordo, un qualcosa a cui tornare. Aprire la raccolta in un punto a caso, leggere due versi, ritrovarsi. Mi fa sentire amata.

  36. 5 out of 5

    Ana Luisa

    Emily Dickinson crea poemas de su propio mundo. No puedo decir que todos amé todos sus poemas, porque Dickinson los forma con elementos de nuestro mundo y los transforma para que se adapten al mundo en el que ella vive. Es algo que no puede ser descrito. Disfruta cada uno de ellos. A word is dead When it is said, Some say. I say it just Begins to live That day.

  37. 5 out of 5

    Mindy

    Emily is my favorite 19th century American poet. When I first discovered her I connected not only with her words (which I didn't always get) but also the intelligent, cloistered woman whose mind could not be contained within the simple life she led...so much like myself.

  38. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Wixson

    Emily Dickinson left a large cache of poetry -- 900 poems hand-sewn together in 60 small packets -- which her sister Lavinia discovered after Emily's death. The poems were untitled and mostly undated. Lavinia realized she had unearthed a literary treasure trove, and sought help in getting the poems published. Early editors of Dickinson's work (notably her brother's mistress, Mabel Loomis Tood) trying to be helpful, edited some of Dickinson's idiosyncratic poetry to make it more acceptable to the Emily Dickinson left a large cache of poetry -- 900 poems hand-sewn together in 60 small packets -- which her sister Lavinia discovered after Emily's death. The poems were untitled and mostly undated. Lavinia realized she had unearthed a literary treasure trove, and sought help in getting the poems published. Early editors of Dickinson's work (notably her brother's mistress, Mabel Loomis Tood) trying to be helpful, edited some of Dickinson's idiosyncratic poetry to make it more acceptable to the modern taste. This edition, edited by Thomas H. Johnson, erases those early changes and offers readers the "only authoritative paperback collection of all of Emily Dickinson's poetry." Following a brief (and helpful) biography of the Amherst genius, Johnson assembles and numbers Dickinson's poetry by the estimated date that each poem was written. This arrangement gives the reader insight into what might have been occurring in Emily Dickinson's life at the time of creation. The book can be approached via the usual read -- from front to back -- however, I loved just opening The Complete Poems at random and diving into whatever poems emerged from the pages. Once submerged in the fluidity of Dickinson's genius, I felt like a fish leaping up from the black depth attempting to catch a transcendent truth that alighted momentarily like a fly atop the smooth water. The spirit of the poetess and her artistic grace move elusively and fluidly through the pages, perennially present, and, in some cases prescient. If you're looking for an opportunity to meet the woman, Emily Dickinson, personally -- perhaps slipping through her backyard flowers and herbs in her trademark white dress -- The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson offers an open gate to the garden. You won't catch her, but you'll smell the scent of the rosemary as she passes. And if you enlarge your vision, you might spy Dickinson's essence in a single flower: The Grace - Myself - might not obtain - Confer upon My flower - Refracted but a Countenance - For I - inhabit Her - (Emily Dickinson poem #707, circa 1863, 1st published in 1935)

  39. 4 out of 5

    Tanima

    Emily Dickinson’s poetry is sheer beauty. My initial exposure to poetry was actually through one of her poems many years ago. She always seems so vulnerable in her poetry. It inspired me to (secretly) start writing poems of my own. Her poetry is tragic yet hopeful; there’s a sense that she had a somewhat pessimistic view about life but damn did she know how to emote her sadness upon those blank pages. And I could go on and on about her genius rhythm! She uses the imagery of seasons and nature to Emily Dickinson’s poetry is sheer beauty. My initial exposure to poetry was actually through one of her poems many years ago. She always seems so vulnerable in her poetry. It inspired me to (secretly) start writing poems of my own. Her poetry is tragic yet hopeful; there’s a sense that she had a somewhat pessimistic view about life but damn did she know how to emote her sadness upon those blank pages. And I could go on and on about her genius rhythm! She uses the imagery of seasons and nature to describe her feelings about love. She especially likes using bees, butterflies, and flowers. And I admire her ability to take a serious subject like death and turn it into a humorous spectacle: "Because I could not stop for Death, He kindly stopped for me; The carriage held but just ourselves And immortality." And sometimes it does take some concentration to delve into her longer, more descriptive poems so I like when words like these come my way. This is great because she is literally talking about a forgotten thought that came back into memory. Personally I find poems most amusing when they're about mundane things like this: "A thought went up my mind to-day That I have had before, [...] But somewhere in my soul, I know I 've met the thing before; It just reminded me -- 'twas all -- And came my way no more." And of course, I’m sure we can all agree with her poem about precious books and how they make us better human beings by opening our minds to the world unknown! "He ate and drank the precious words His spirit grew robust [...] What liberty A loosened spirit brings!" Emily Dickinson's poetry is sheer beauty. She was the reason I truly started to appreciate poetry. I will always be grateful to her for giving me wings of my own.

  40. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I'm tempted to only quote Dickinson in a review of this luminary of solitude, this pristine custodian of her own periodic deaths, and this mystically crowned priestess of Nature's God. When my inspiration flags, a Dickinson poem restores zest and also humility. If I had to pick a favorite poet, Emily Dickinson is it. My homage to her: Emily Takes the Stage The Day that I was crowned Was like the other Days -- Until the Coronation came -- And then -- 'twas Otherwise -- Like the Beach Blanket Babylon l I'm tempted to only quote Dickinson in a review of this luminary of solitude, this pristine custodian of her own periodic deaths, and this mystically crowned priestess of Nature's God. When my inspiration flags, a Dickinson poem restores zest and also humility. If I had to pick a favorite poet, Emily Dickinson is it. My homage to her: Emily Takes the Stage The Day that I was crowned Was like the other Days -- Until the Coronation came -- And then -- 'twas Otherwise -- Like the Beach Blanket Babylon lady who carries a city on her head, some women walk to the soul’s well, balancing with both hands the water for their thirsty village, but you balanced on your slender neck a galaxy-wide diadem. It dropped jewels everywhere, in field and town, in school and parlor, in letter and note. Children, maids, and innocents pounced on those green, glinting stones. Unlike the Babylon lady, you didn’t need props to hold up your crown. You only needed to lighten it by strewing and sewing into packets your wit and gems.

  41. 5 out of 5

    Anima

    I will always love Dickinson's poems - one after another they reveal us the beauty of an inward world scattered sometimes with thought provocative images and other times with sweet and warm feelings, and imbedded all times into a profound sensitivity which marked poet's gracious living. Life I'm Nobody! Who are you? "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! How dreary – to be – Somebody! How public – like a Frog – To tell one's I will always love Dickinson's poems - one after another they reveal us the beauty of an inward world scattered sometimes with thought provocative images and other times with sweet and warm feelings, and imbedded all times into a profound sensitivity which marked poet's gracious living. Life I'm Nobody! Who are you? "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! How dreary – to be – Somebody! How public – like a Frog – To tell one's name – the livelong June – To an admiring Bog!" Hope “Hope” is the thing with feathers - That perches in the soul - And sings the tune without the words - And never stops - at all - And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard - And sore must be the storm - That could abash the little Bird That kept so many warm - I’ve heard it in the chillest land - And on the strangest Sea - Yet - never - in Extremity, It asked a crumb - of me." XXIII "The grave my little cottage is, Where "Keeping house" for thee I make my parlor orderly And lay the marble tea. For two divided, briefly, A cycle, it may be, Till everlasting life unite In strong society."

  42. 4 out of 5

    Chris Hunt

    I had a guinea golden; I lost it in the sand, And though the sum was simple, And pounds were in the land, Still had it such a value Unto my frugal eye, That when I could not find it I sat me down to sigh. I had a crimson robin Who sang full many a day, But when the woods were painted He, too, did fly away. Time brought me other robins,-- Their ballads were the same,-- Still for my missing troubadour I kept the "house at hame." I had a star in heaven; One Pleiad was its name, And when I was not I had a guinea golden; I lost it in the sand, And though the sum was simple, And pounds were in the land, Still had it such a value Unto my frugal eye, That when I could not find it I sat me down to sigh. I had a crimson robin Who sang full many a day, But when the woods were painted He, too, did fly away. Time brought me other robins,-- Their ballads were the same,-- Still for my missing troubadour I kept the "house at hame." I had a star in heaven; One Pleiad was its name, And when I was not heeding It wandered from the same. And though the skies are crowded, And all the night ashine, I do not care about it, Since none of them are mine. My story has a moral: I have a missing friend,-- Pleiad its name, and robin, And guinea in the sand,-- And when this mournful ditty, Accompanied with tear, Shall meet the eye of traitor In country far from here, Grant that repentance solemn May seize upon his mind, And he no consolation Beneath the sun may find.

  43. 5 out of 5

    Ashok

    There are other editions of Dickinson's poems, but it is hard to trust their hyphenation at the least. In other cases, the poems have been more severely edited, and in my experience, that is almost always a watering down of theme and an inability to appreciate Dickinson's artistry. This is the only edition I recommend for the time being, and I am very grateful for it; it has been a privilege to write on poems such as "I dwell in possibility" and "There's a certain slant of light." Dickinson's tho There are other editions of Dickinson's poems, but it is hard to trust their hyphenation at the least. In other cases, the poems have been more severely edited, and in my experience, that is almost always a watering down of theme and an inability to appreciate Dickinson's artistry. This is the only edition I recommend for the time being, and I am very grateful for it; it has been a privilege to write on poems such as "I dwell in possibility" and "There's a certain slant of light." Dickinson's thought is complicated and cryptic, because she did dwell in possibility, struggling with the nature of a certain light.

  44. 5 out of 5

    Aimee

    Available for free from Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/12242 I hadn't read many of Emily Dickinson's poems before so it's always nice to discover something new. This collection was a little frustrating because the poems are arranged by theme (e.g. Nature, Love, Time) so it got a bit repetitive reading lots of similar poems one after another. But it's clear Emily Dickinson was a prolific poet and wrote very precise poems with almost perfect structure and metre. A lovely little po Available for free from Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/12242 I hadn't read many of Emily Dickinson's poems before so it's always nice to discover something new. This collection was a little frustrating because the poems are arranged by theme (e.g. Nature, Love, Time) so it got a bit repetitive reading lots of similar poems one after another. But it's clear Emily Dickinson was a prolific poet and wrote very precise poems with almost perfect structure and metre. A lovely little poem for bookworms: He ate and drank the precious words, His spirit grew robust; He knew no more that he was poor, Nor that his frame was dust. He danced along the dingy days, And this bequest of wings Was but a book. What liberty A loosened spirit brings!

  45. 5 out of 5

    Alex Kartelias

    She isn't my favorite poet, but there are a couple I really like. When I first read her poetry in 9th grade, I admired her usage of dashes even though I had no way of explaining why I enjoyed them. They're one of the most distinctive aspects of her poetry and the greatest innovation she brought into writing. I also loved her daring usage of slant rhymes which angered my fellow students, but impassioned me because due to my rebellious nature. To this today, I fail to comprehend the enigmas which She isn't my favorite poet, but there are a couple I really like. When I first read her poetry in 9th grade, I admired her usage of dashes even though I had no way of explaining why I enjoyed them. They're one of the most distinctive aspects of her poetry and the greatest innovation she brought into writing. I also loved her daring usage of slant rhymes which angered my fellow students, but impassioned me because due to my rebellious nature. To this today, I fail to comprehend the enigmas which make up most of her poetry as well as her feelings towards God, Death, butterfly's and love, but when one of her enigmas hit home, my lack of understanding is of little importance compared to my fascination with its mystery. A one of a kind.

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