The Poems of Emily Dickinson

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Harvard University Press, 1999 - Poetry - 692 pages
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There is a word

Which bears a sword

Emily Dickinson, poet of the interior life, imagined words/swords, hurling barbed syllables/piercing. Nothing about her adult appearance or habitation revealed such a militant soul. Only poems, written quietly in a room of her own, often hand-stitched in small volumes, then hidden in a drawer, revealed her true self. She did not live in time but in universals -- an acute, sensitive nature reaching out boldly from self-referral to a wider, imagined world.

Dickinson died without fame; only a few poems were published in her lifetime. Her legacy was later rescued from her desk -- an astonishing body of work, much of which has since appeared in piecemeal editions, sometimes with words altered by editors or publishers according to the fashion of the day.

Now Ralph Franklin, the foremost scholar of Dickinson's manuscripts, has prepared an authoritative one-volume edition of all extant poems by Emily Dickinson -- 1,789 poems in all, the largest number ever assembled. This reading edition derives from his three-volume work, The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Variorum Edition (1998), which contains approximately 2,500 sources for the poems. In this one-volume edition, Franklin offers a single reading of each poem -- usually the latest version of the entire poem -- rendered with Dickinson's spelling, punctuation, and capitalization intact. The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Reading Edition is a milestone in American literary scholarship and an indispensable addition to the personal library of poetry lovers everywhere.

  

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User Review  - dawnpen - LibraryThing

This edition is yes and yes there are the bees and there are facsimiles and there is good order and everything is in them including the questions and I'm saving up for the letters as we speak. Read full review

Contents

introduction
1
Poemsl1789
15
Appendixes
637
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts on December 10, 1830. Although one of America's most acclaimed poets, the bulk of her work was not published until well after her death on May 15, 1886. The few poems published in her lifetime were not received with any great fanfare. After her death, Dickinson's sister Lavinia found over 1,700 poems Emily had written and stashed away in a drawer -- the accumulation of a life's obsession with words. Critics have agreed that Dickinson's poetry was well ahead of its time. Today she is considered one of the best poets of the English language. Except for a year spent at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in South Hadley, Dickinson spent her entire life in the family home in Amherst, Massachusetts. She never married and began to withdraw from society, eventually becoming a recluse. Dickinson's poetry engages the reader and requires his or her participation. Full of highly charged metaphors, her free verse and choice of words are best understood when read aloud. Dickinson's punctuation and capitalization, not orthodox by Victorian standards and called "spasmodic" by her critics, give greater emphasis to her meanings.

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

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