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The Essential Dickinson

by Emily Dickinson

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1482146,951 (4.38)1
SELECTED AND INTRODUCED BY JOYCE CAROL OATES Between them, our great visionary poets of the American nineteenth century, Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, have come to represent the extreme, idiosyncratic poles of the American psyche.... Dickinson never shied away from the great subjects of human suffering, loss, death, even madness, but her perspective was intensely private; like Rainer Maria Rilke and Gerard Manley Hopkins, she is the great poet of inwardness, of the indefinable region of the soul in which we are, in a sense, all alone.… (more)
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With this slim book, I read poems selected and introduced by Joyce Carol Oates—and then I read them all over again. In her introduction, I loved learning that all during Dickinson’s day, she was constantly writing her poems on any bit of paper she could find, and then stuffing them away in her pockets. Later, in the privacy of her room, she would pull them all out and carefully assemble them all. During her life, she only published but twenty poems, so most everyone was surprised when her sister, Vinnie, discovered her nearly 1,800 poems, after Emily’s death.
Many of these poems are very short, and it’s a fascinating reading experience to drop in on her thoughts, remembering that they composed during her day, and carried around in her apron pocket as the ink was drying. I have read her poetry off and on for many years, but I would say that in general, I wasn’t that impressed by her work. While reading this collection for the second time, the sounds of her words leaving my lips, I started to feel a spark.
There is always a world of difference between quietly reading a poem, and speaking those syllables, words, phrases, lines, and stanzas aloud. I’m sure life will find me again someday, speaking Dickinson and gaining even more appreciation. ( )
  jphamilton | Sep 29, 2019 |
Read by Julie Harris ( )
  stevenjay | Feb 5, 2014 |
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SELECTED AND INTRODUCED BY JOYCE CAROL OATES Between them, our great visionary poets of the American nineteenth century, Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, have come to represent the extreme, idiosyncratic poles of the American psyche.... Dickinson never shied away from the great subjects of human suffering, loss, death, even madness, but her perspective was intensely private; like Rainer Maria Rilke and Gerard Manley Hopkins, she is the great poet of inwardness, of the indefinable region of the soul in which we are, in a sense, all alone.

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Legacy Library: Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

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