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1. Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
2. Emily Elizabeth Dickinson, 1830-1886
3. Emily Dickinson, December 10,
4. Essential Dickinson (Essential
5. The Passion of Emily Dickinson
6. Emily Dickinson's Gardens
7. Emily Dickinson and the Art of
8. The Cambridge Companion to Emily
9. The Master Letters of Emily Dickinson
10. Emily Dickinson's Herbarium: A
11. The World of Emily Dickinson
12. The Emily Dickinson Handbook
13. Selected Poems & Letters of
14. The Life of Emily Dickinson
15. The Poems of Emily Dickinson:
16. Emily Dickinson: A Bibliography,
17. Emily Dickinson: A Collection
18. Emily Dickinson: Selected Letters
19. Emily Dickinson's Vision: Illness
20. Letters of Emily Dickinson

1. Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
by Unknown
 Paperback: Pages (1999-12-31)

Asin: 8479232641
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2. Emily Elizabeth Dickinson, 1830-1886
by Jacob Blanck
 Unknown Binding: 454 Pages (1957)

Asin: B0007HZGEQ
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3. Emily Dickinson, December 10, 1830-May 15, 1886: A bibliography
by Jones Library
 Unknown Binding: 63 Pages (1978)

Isbn: 0849228689
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4. Essential Dickinson (Essential Poets)
by Emily Dickinson
Paperback: 112 Pages (2006-03-01)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$4.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060887915
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

From the introduction 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.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A little light/ a slant concealed/ Emily D's/ soul revealed
Emily Dickison is one of the world's most memorable poets. This selection of her writing introduces us into her epigrammatic visionary verse-. There could not be a more appropriate person to introduce Emily, than another haunted inhabit of the deep literary imagination- Joyce Carol Oates.
Dickinson's verse stings and remains seared in the mind . It touches earth and tries Heaven in oblique inferences which shatter us out of our mental slumber.In subtle perceptions of metaphor it addresses the fundamental longings and distinctions of the human soul. It defines and redefines our feeling , in contracted language which expands the meaning we give to our own everyday lines.

"Exultation is the going of an inland soul to sea
Past the headlands, past the houses into deep eternity" ... Read more

5. The Passion of Emily Dickinson
by Judith Farr
Paperback: 416 Pages (1998-07-15)
list price: US$21.00 -- used & new: US$17.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0674656660
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"How tame and manageable are the emotions of our bards, how placid and literary their allusions!" complained essayist T. W. Higginson in the Atlantic Monthly in 1870. "The American poet of passion is yet to come." He was, of course, unaware of the great erotic love poems such as "Wild Nights--Wild Nights!" and "Struck was I, nor yet by Lightning" being privately written by his reclusive friend Emily Dickinson.

In a profound new analysis of Dickinson's life and work, Judith Farr explores the desire, suffering, exultation, spiritual rapture, and intense dedication to art that characterize Dickinson's poems, and deciphers their many complex and witty references to texts and paintings of the day. In The Passion of Emily Dickinson the poet emerges, not as a cryptic proto-modern or a victim of female repression, but as a cultivated mid-Victorian in whom the romanticism of Emerson and the American landscape painters found bold expression.

Dickinson wrote two distinct cycles of love poetry, argues Farr, one for her sister-in-law Sue and one for the mysterious "Master," here convincingly identified as Samuel Bowles, a friend of the family. For each of these intimates, Dickinson crafted personalized metaphoric codes drawn from her reading. Calling books her "Kinsmen of the Shelf," she refracted elements of Jane Eyre, Antony and Cleopatra, Tennyson's Maud, De Quincey's Confessions, and key biblical passages into her writing. And, to a previously unexplored degree, Dickinson also quoted the strategies and subject matter of popular Hudson River, Luminist, and Pre-Raphaelite paintings, notably Thomas Cole's Voyage of Life and Frederic Edwin Church's Heart of the Andes. Involved in the delicate process of both expressing and disguising her passion, Dickinson incorporated these sources in an original and sophisticated manner.

Farr's superb readings of the poems and letters call on neglected archival material and on magazines, books, and paintings owned by the Dickinsons. Viewed as part of a finely articulated tradition of Victorian iconography, Dickinson's interest in the fate of the soul after death, her seclusion, her fascination with landscape's mystical content, her quest for honor and immortality through art, and most of all her very human passions become less enigmatic. Farr tells the story of a poet and her time. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Well Worth Reading
Ours is such an unpoetic age. The prevailing view that reality is only what you see and the electro-magnetic fields on which our cell phones depend make the investigations a true poet makes seem fantasies and certainly irrelevant. What is above us, the nature of the world of which we are a part, and in which any one human is only a brief, generally painful, episode, is quite unknown to most of us, and this is the world a good poet (in my opinion) tries to communicate, and this is the world Emily Dickinson took up every day. It is a dimension only understood with both mind and feeling together, it is learned about in confrontations with love, nature, suffering and eternity.

Anyway, I liked Judith Farr's book insofar as it agreed with my view of Emily Dickinson. Obviously, I love people who love Dickinson, and she clearly does. My only strong disagreement is with the idea that the Hudson River School painters could have played a very large role in the formation of her poetry, and even with the idea that there is a real similitude there.Generally speaking, Emily Dickinson is deeper than Cole, Church and the others. I like them, especially Kensett and Heade, but I've rarely felt the shock of revelation looking at one of their paintings, as I often have reading her poetry. I think probably the study of the Brontes, Brownings, Shakespeare and the Bible would reveal more of her actual source material, as would walking through fields, looking closely at flowers and listening to storms. Farr does supply a good deal of relevant literary material.

It's the type of study that is very helpful in attempting to give contexts to the poems, which can be completely opaque. A poem may be the continuation of an earlier conversation, which we can only conjecture about.

With Dickinson, you have to get what you can. We are surrounded by the unknown, the daily complacency is based on social convention and convenience, not on any understanding. It's a global self-deception. People who venture out into the unknown and report back are, in my view, the only really "distinguished" people. It's the only really worthwhile distinction.

I think anyone who interested in Emily Dickinson will value this work highly. I would also recommend Helen Vendler's discussion of Emily Dickinson in "Poets Thinking" and Ted Hughes' excellent introduction to his collection of her poetry, which can be found in "Winter Pollen".And finally, if you like Dickinson's "telegrams from eternity" (Allen Tate), you may very well like R. H. Blyth's four volume "Haiku". Food for the soul.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Interpretation
This is one of the better books of critical interpretation of Emily Dickinson. Most of the books about her apart from biographies are so academic they have little appeal to the general reader. This one although long, does not go into literary criticism that becomes incomprehensible. Generally, it is a sensible interpretation of the meaning of Dickinson's poems through paintings of the time. Also considered are some of the references in the poems to popular Victorian literature. Poems themselves although they are emotion, are also in some sense philosophy. So, in this book, the author's exploration of general thought on a topic and then Dickinson's way of exploring it are fascinating. Farr covers some topics that are controversial here like the extent of Dickinson's relationship with Sue Gilbert Dickinson or the mystery of the identity of ''Master''. Whatever anyone's view of these topics, reading this book just to read this author's take on them is silly. This book is worthwhile to read for many other reasons. Fifty times over, this book is worth reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars And all my House aglow (638)
Thirty years ago, I read ED in school, a few poems chosen for high school students, scrubbed by the sensibilities of that time and rural place. My remembered impression was of a strange recluse who wrote of flowers and death. On word of friends, I came to remake her acquaintance, and found passion, unconventional explorations, and wide knowledge of her moment. That a woman so contained in space should flow out through time touches and pauses me. I should like to have known her, to have had her as my friend (by email, or chat?), and been informed of her wider, richer world distilled ever smaller until its circumference reduced me, too; a term between eternity and immortality (ED, you amaze).

Judith Farr has wrought a miracle in bringing ED to me so compellingly (thank you, Judith). ... Read more

6. Emily Dickinson's Gardens
by Marta McDowell
Hardcover: 176 Pages (2004-10-20)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$9.54
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071424091
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A beautifully illustrated gift book exploring the flowers and poems of the beloved "Belle of Amherst"

A woman who found great solace in gardens, Emily Dickinson filled her poetry with references to her flowers. Now, in Emily Dickinson's Gardens, author Marta McDowell invites poetry and gardening lovers alike to explore the words and wildflowers of one of America's best-loved poets.

Each chapter of this illustrated book follows a different season in the gardens, conservatories, and Amherst environs where the poet tended, collected, and drew inspiration from flowers.

"Here is a brighter garden" where you will discover:

  • Excerpts from Dickinson's poetry and letters
  • Historical details about the poet's life, emphasizing her horticultural interests
  • Plus: Instructions on how to create an Emily Dickinson garden of your own, including plans, design ideas, plant sources, and growing tips
Download Description
A woman who found great solace in gardens, Emily Dickinson filled her poetry with references to her flowers. In the beautifully illustrated "Emily Dickinson's Gardens," author Marta McDowell invites poetry and gardening lovers to explore the words and wildflowers of one of America's best-loved poets. Also included are excerpts from her poetry and letters, historical details about her life and instructions on how to create an Emily Dickinson garden. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Charming Gardening Companion
Ms. McDowell is a delightful writer. Her book on Emily Dickinson's Gardens kept me reassuring company this spring as I worried my way through my first seed growing experiments. I kept it next to my seed growing trays by my computer where I sat and worked everyday. Her conversational stylewas reassuring, informative and entertaining. Somehow her book managed to say the right thing at the moment when I needed to read it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Celebration Indeed!
The wonder of this book is that the author has done a fabulous job of conmbining biography, poetry and gardening into one terrific volume.

The descriptions of Dickinson's life are intimate and homey; reading it, you feel like you're spending a few hours with a friend.

And McDowell does a great job of helping us understand the role that gardening played in both Emily's life and her poetry by providing a lot of specific details that bring Emily and her home to life.

As a gardener myself, I was extremely impressed with McDowell's gardening knowledge.She's included a number of tips and techniques that will be useful to both novice and experienced gardeners.

Bottom line: this is just a wonderful book, and one that I'll be giving to many of my poetry and gardening friends. ... Read more

7. Emily Dickinson and the Art of Belief (Library of Religious Biography Series)
by Roger Lundin
Paperback: 336 Pages (2004-02)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$12.46
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Asin: 0802821278
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description
Garnishing awards from "Choice," "Christianity Today," "Books & Culture," and the Conference on Christianity and Literature when first published in 1998, Roger Lundin's "Emily Dickinson and the Art of Belief" has been widely recognized as one of the finest biographies of the great American poet Emily Dickinson. Paying special attention to her experience of faith, Lundin skillfully relates Dickinson's life — as it can be charted through her poems and letters — to nineteenth-century American political, social, religious, and intellectual history.

This second edition of Lundin's superb work includes a standard bibliography, expanded notes, and a more extensive discussion of Dickinson's poetry than the first edition contained. Besides examining Dickinson's singular life and work in greater depth, Lundin has also keyed all poem citations to the recently updated standard edition of Dickinson's poetry. Already outstanding, Lundin's biography of Emily Dickinson is now even better than before. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Expands the Emily enigma more than it explains...
I have been obsessed with the life of Dickinson for more than 20 years, and I had high hopes that this author would fill in some gaps that the other 15 or 20 E.D. books had not. In that wish, I was unfulfilled, although the author gives it a great try. I did learn more than I knew before about the "general" protestant currents in Emily's New England between 1830-1880, but the Queen Recluse emerges from Lundlin's examination of her apparent beefs with, and beliefs about, Christianity as still "a puzzlement." For other E.D. compulsives, I think this is a must-own, but for casual poetry fans, it probably is not an essential addition to their shelf. For any serious Emily explorer, Richard Sewell's massive 1974 "Life of Emily Dickinson" remains the Mount Everest that must be scaled, and the most satisfying look at her life, poetry and prose.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unwrapping a Bit of the Enigma
This book is a rarity: a work of biography and literary criticism that isn't a chore to plow through. Roger Lundin's style, unlike that of most academics who pursue the great classics of literature, is lucid and uncomplicated. There isn't, as I recall, a tortured sentence in the entire book.

Besides this not-to-be-discounted virtue, there are other important ones as well. Since the book is guided by Lundin's thesis, which has to do with issues of faith as they are expressed in Dickinson's work, the focus is tight, producing a similarly focused narrative. No time is wasted on speculations about Dickinson's sex life, for example, though the readily verifiable is certainly reviewed in the pages of the book. About Dickinson's relationship with the man she came close to marrying, Otis P. Lord, we'd probably like to hear more. But again, the record is incomplete because much of the correspondence between the principals was destroyed, and Lundin doesn't overstep, sticking to what can be proved.

This is not strictly a critical biography, so those poems tjat Lundin examines are considered only briefly--just closely enough to explain their relationship to his thesis. Lundin chooses judiciously, as he does among the letters and personal accounts centering on Dickinson. Besides, he relates Dickinson's thinking on matters of faith to spiritual and intellectual trends in 19th-century America, and this is among the most important features of the work, especially since he cites a number of noted authorities on the place of religion in American history. If you have any interest in such issues, Lundin's citations will probably send you on a further quest.

Only rarely did I say to myself, "I'd like to hear more about that topic." Lundin develops his thesis with skill and with great sympathy for his subject. He certainly doesn't explain the enigma that is Emily Dickinson, but he moves us closer to an understanding of this frustratingly, fascinatingly complex artist.

4-0 out of 5 stars A penetrating look at Emily Dickinson's spiritual formation
As a lay person, knowing more of Roger Lundin's academic reputation than of Emily Dickinson's life and work, I was intimidated by the prospect of reading his biography of the poet, "Emily Dickinson and the Art of Belief." However, as the foreword assures us, this book is not meant for the "cognoscenti" alone, but for us "uninitiated outsiders" as well. And as the departing shore of the book's introduction became faint, I found only the calm seas and smooth sailing of a real page turner.I was soon fascinated by Dickinson's enigmatic life as Lundin carefully unfolded the practical details of her life in nineteenth century Amherst, as well as her development as a poet, an intellectual, and a religious thinker in an era on the edge of modernity.One of the most poignant themes in the book was Dickinson's progressive reclusiveness--and for all the reasons Lundin gives for it, I wasn't completely satisfied until the very last chapter. A surprising dimension of the book is the discussion of Emily's political, cultural, and religious milieu--which we eventually come to learn is key to understanding Dickinson's discomfiting questions and world view.The only fault I find in the book is not at Lundin's hand, but Emily herself. Though she leaves us in awe of her literary genius and spiritual sensitivity, her seemingly selfish reclusiveness and her failure to ever clearly declare the state of her soul left me feeling sorry for her.Although I have been taught never to judge in these matters, as a Christian I can't help but wonder, "was she or wasn't she?" Did she ever make the leap of faith?Lundin never gives us a definitive "yes" or "no," but yet gives enough data that we can make our own educated determination. I only hope that when I have "forded the mystery" and turn the corner of Heaven, I will find Emily at the feet of Jesus, having set aside her pondering pen, happy and content to finally be a bride. "Emily Dickinson and the Art of Belief" gives me that much hope ... Read more

8. The Cambridge Companion to Emily Dickinson (Cambridge Companions to Literature)
Paperback: 266 Pages (2002-10-14)
list price: US$25.99 -- used & new: US$21.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521001188
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description
This Companion consists of 14 essays by leading international scholars. They provide a series of new perspectives on one of the most enigmatic and widely read American writers. These essays, specially tailored to the needs of undergraduates, examine all of Dickinson's writings, letters and criticism, and place her work in a variety of literary, cultural and political contexts. The volume will be of interest to scholars and students. It features a detailed chronology and a comprehensive guide to further reading.Download Description
Emily Dickinson, one of the most important American poets of the nineteenth century, remains an intriguing and fascinating writer. The Cambridge Companion to Emily Dickinson includes eleven new essays by accomplished Dickinson scholars. They cover Dickinson's biography, publication history, poetic themes and strategies, and her historical and cultural contexts. As a woman poet, Dickinson's literary persona has become incredibly resonant in the popular imagination. She has been portrayed as singular, enigmatic, and even eccentric. At the same time, Dickinson is widely acknowledged as one of the founders of American poetry, an innovative pre-modernist poet as well as a rebellious and courageous woman. This volume introduces new and practised readers to a variety of critical responses to Dickinson's poetry and life, and provides several valuable tools for students, including a chronology and suggestions for further reading. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Celebrate 177 years of Emily Dickinson
It's hard to exaggerate the importance of Emily Dickinson's poetry, as we mark her 177th birthday (born December 10, 1830, Amherst, Massachusetts).But is this poet well understood, and are her birthdays and other important dates even recognized other than by those already devoted to her? One editorial reviewer for Amazon of the Cambridge Companion makes a key mistake-stating that she is one of our most important "19th Century poets."No--Dickinson is one of the two most important American poets in all our literature-of whatever century, and most likely including this new one- the other candidate for top honors being Walt Whitman. Arguably, Dickinson is the more important of the two given the resonance in our later poetry with the depth of her interior, private vision. Whitman aspired to be America's great public bard-a project Robert Pinsky and others have pointed out that did not succeed (see my Amazon review of Pinsky's Democracy, Culture and the Voice of Poetry). But Dickinson's intense private vision is more responsible than Whitman's public one for generating followers and inspiring others. Wallace Stevens and Hart Crane are two examples. With rare exceptions, American poetry has developed more along the lines suggested by her more private vision and voice than it has to the broad, public sweep of Whitman's long-windedness.

Everyone more or less knows who Dickinson is, and most educated persons have probably read at least one of her poems. But, do we grasp what a deep treasure trove Dickinson has left us? Do we get beyond the superficial portrait most have of her? And most importantly, how do we access the wealth of creativity and insight that lies beyond the few dozen or so most popular Dickinson poems most of us are familiar with?

Wendy Martin's Cambridge Companion to Emily Dickinson is a great place to start broadening our view of her. The war over Dickinson's manuscripts (today part still belong to Harvard and part to Amherst College) and for defining her as a person is something that happened shortly after she died and was caused by a schism of sorts in her family when her brother, Austin Dickinson, took a lover, Mabel Loomis Todd, outside of his marriage to Emily's beloved friend, companion and lifelong correspondent, Susan Dickinson. This is a really racy story! It is ably narrated in Betsy Erkkila's essay "The Emily Dickinson Wars."

Christopher Benfey's essay "Emily Dickinson and the American South," is also remarkable. How do you explain the fact that Dickinson wrote throughout the Civil War, Emancipation, etc. and has almost nothing to say about these huge events? While not a Southern sympathizer, there is much in her work that accords with the agrarian, aristocratic elements in American life that was also represented in the South and its literature, and she fit the sensibility of those who yearned for a pre-Industrial America in the 20th Century quite well-although it doesn't really fully define her to see it in this way.

Wendy Martin's own essay on Dickinson's poetic strategies is a strong overview of how some of the larger elements in Dickinson's life worked themselves out in her verse, including her deeply meaningful relationship with her sister-in-law.Martin is very strong on her analysis of the poetic use of words like "sun" which appears so often in the poems, and she sees Dickinson as one who revels with her volcanic creativity in night and darkness. It's a luxurious image and picture of her.

I have to confess that, though our last names are the same, I am no relation to Emily Dickinson. Starting when I was a very young child, my mother (who grew up not far from Amherst in a similar setting) read her to me frequently, and I was somewhat confused about the name.For quite some time I thought when my mother said we were "not related" that we really were related. I felt the poems were something that had been written to us, like letters from a relative, which were also sometimes read aloud to the family. I was disappointed to learn that "no relation" actually meant we weren't related-and somehow before figuring it out got some of the deeper messages even as a very young child -it was as though they had been meant especially for me and sent from a kindred soul.

One suggestion for how to celebrate Emily Dickinson's birthday each December 10th is to read this book and others like it-and to re-encounter Dickinson's poems over and over.They richly repay our efforts to understand and enjoy them. ... Read more

9. The Master Letters of Emily Dickinson
by Emily Dickinson
Paperback: 48 Pages (1998-04)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$12.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1558491554
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Charming, intimate letters of Emily Dickinson
This is a short but charming book from Amherst College Press, published for the centennial of Emily Dickinson?s 1886 death, edited with an introduction and manuscript comments by R. W. Franklin.Ralph Franklin is arguably the best current Dickinson manuscript scholar and also edited ?The Poems of Emily Dickinson?, to my eyes the current definitive edition of Dickinson.

The Master Letters are three letters, actually drafts of three letters, to a person Emily addresses as ?Master?.They are undated by Dickinson, but some sleuthing and careful handwriting analysis described in the introduction put them in a credible chronologic order.No other version of these letters or the other side of this correspondence is known.A wonderful mystery.

For decades only a fragment of one letter was known to the public, published with Dickinson poems because of the poetic qualities abundant in these letters.The full letters were suppressed, presumably because of their intimate emotional content.The mildest letter was published in 1931, the final two waited until 1955 for publication.

Because of Dickinson?s original and idiosyncratic use of punctuation, capitalization, and word and line spacing, it is currently fashionable to read Dickinson in the original, usually meaning reproductions of the handwritten originals.Standard print has no equivalent of her dashes of various lengths, for example.This text includes full page photographs of every page of the letters with a faithful printed version on the facing page. Plus, as a real treat, an insert envelope contains complete reproductions of all the original leaves.A beautiful touch.The hand of the author is very present in scratch outs, overwrites, and corrections - giving hints at Emily?s creative and editing process.The handwriting is clear and legible but takes some study to read fluidly.

I feel very close to Emily Dickinson reading and holding these letters.This text is a must for Dickinson fans, and will be appreciated by many bibliophiles and scholars. ... Read more

10. Emily Dickinson's Herbarium: A Facsimile Edition
by Emily Dickinson
Hardcover: 208 Pages (2006-09-25)
list price: US$125.00 -- used & new: US$107.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0674023021
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In a letter from 1845, the 14-year-old Emily Dickinson asked her friend Abiah Root if she had started collecting flowers and plants for a herbarium: "it would be such a treasure to you; 'most all the girls are making one." Emily's own album of more than 400 pressed flowers and plants, carefully preserved, has long been a treasure of Harvard's Houghton Library. This beautifully produced, slipcased volume now makes it available to all readers interested in the life and writings of Emily Dickinson.

The care that Emily put into her herbarium, as Richard Sewall points out, goes far beyond what one might expect of a botany student her age: "Take Emily's herbarium far enough, and you have her." The close observation of nature was a lifelong passion, and Emily used her garden flowers as emblems in her poetry and her correspondence. Each page of the album is reproduced in full color at full size, accompanied by a transcription of Dickinson's handwritten labels. Introduced by a substantial literary and biographical essay, and including a complete botanical catalog and index, this volume will delight scholars, gardeners, and all readers of Emily Dickinson's poetry.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Emily Dickinson's Herbarium
I enjoyed this book very much.It was a thrill to see Emily Dickinson's own handwriting and all the flowers she collected at such a young age. I especially enjoyed seeing the Fringed Gentians and thinking about the poems she wrote about them at a later age.

I was somewhat disappointed in the text.The authors didn't spend much time editing it and making it cohesive.The science section in particular could have had a more detailed description of the wetland prairie habitat in which Emily Dickinson collected the plants.

Overall, I was very pleased with the book.It was beautifully photographed.To describe it as a coffee table book would hardly do it justice.I have lived on a prairie for many years and have seen many of the wildflowers Emily Dickinson has in her "Herbarium".Seeing "Emily Dickinson's Herbarium" has certainly left me with a feeling of intimacy with the poet and her poetry.

4-0 out of 5 stars A herbarial life
Wonderful book, tells much about the author's reluctance to expose herself to the living world. ... Read more

11. The World of Emily Dickinson
by Polly Longsworth
Paperback: 136 Pages (1997-04)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$11.91
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393316564
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description
A beautiful, visual biography of America's greatest woman poet, containing over 275 photographs and illustrations. Emily Dickinson left an enduring literary legacy nearly 2,000 poems yet she was so intensely private that her life is sometimes seen as one of solitary devotion to the muse. The portraits, engravings, maps, and other illustrations in The World of Emily Dickinson attest to a much broader life than is commonly thought. Polly Longsworth's graceful introductory essay portrays a young woman of unusual intelligence and wit meeting the world on her own terms, engaging with people, ideas, natural phenomena, and her nineteenth-century culture, while choosing to keep her distance from the public eye. The pictures and captions build on that essay, exploring Dickinson's immediate surroundings, the Dickinson family's active and influential public life, as well as close friends and relatives, the growing town of Amherst, and the intellectual life of the time. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book by one of the best ED scholars...
You can never go wrong buying a book by Polly Longsworth. Especially if it is about enigmatic,obstinate Emily Dickinson. Ms. Longsworth knows her subject as well as, or better than, any other active ED author. She has a common-sense approach to the famous ED obscurities and mysteries, born of decades of study and the influence of Richard Benson Sewall, Yale professor and creator of the Pulitzer-prize winning "Life of Emily Dickinson" in l974. That's the best biography of the poet we have or are ever likely to have. Polly writes well and this book shows off the Amherst of ED's era in ways that nicely complement the text and the poetry. She's also a nice person, kind to other ED researchers, both professional and amateur. Not everyone in that specialty qualifies for such a compliment. As a person who has written a play about Emily's survivors and how they struggled to get her poems published, I have had reason to correspond with lots of Dickinson buffs over a 20-year period. Polly and Sewall and William Luce, author of the play "Belle of Amherst" made room in their lives for letters from an unknown. Many others did not. This book is inexpensive, fortunately, but it is a grand addition to the library of any fan of Emily's. The fact that its creator is also a decent sort is just frosting on the cake.

5-0 out of 5 stars A picture truly is worth a thousand words
I am a fan of old photographs, I pour over old family pictures with great zeal. The World of Emily Dickinson certainly feeds my passion. It is crammed full of wonderful pictures of the Dickinson family, their friends, and the changing and growing town of Amherst, Massachusetts. I learned more about the life of Emily Dickinson in just half an hour than I had ever known about her. It certainly shows that Dickinson wasn't the lonely recluse that I had always heard her to be. In addition to photographs, there are many facsimile reprints of letters written both by Emily Dickinson and to her. I believe this book will be very helpful to future biographers and historians. ... Read more

12. The Emily Dickinson Handbook
Hardcover: 480 Pages (1999-03)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$54.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1558491694
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Emily Update
If you are a person like me who always has been bewitched by the poetry and legend of Emily Dickinson, but who has been busy living a life for the past 30 or 40 years and has not kept up with Dickinson criticism and scholarship, this book is for you.

The edition I bought was first published in 1998 and was slightly updated in 2005. It contains 22 new essays (including an introduction by the great Dickinson biographer Richard Sewall). The essays are the work of many of the most-published Dickinson-scholarship authors of the last few decades. All the 20- to 30-page essays are scholarly, but all but one avoid the dense impenetrability that too many other literary scholars seem to find necessary in order to get tenure. That makes this book well worth your time.

Essays range widely, including an overview of biographical studies, the poet's historical context, her manuscripts, and her letters. In addition, about half the book deals with Dickinson's poetics and her reception and influence.

The essays don't waste a lot of time chin-rubbing about Emily's possible lesbian love, or just who the "master" is. Instead, they discuss just what you want to know, including what I consider the best-ever reading of "My Life had stood - a / Loaded Gun" in an essay by Margaret H. Freeman. (Is there a Dickinson scholar who hasn't tackled that enigma?)

"The Emily Dickinson Handbook" also contains an impressive bibliography for those moved to dive into the poetry and her strange and wonderful genius. It is now (December, 2007) 121-plus years after her death. Criticism of her work has matured, especially in the last few decades, but it remains fascinating and delightfully unfinished. This is a great way to catch up.

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't pass this one up! It's a gem!
THE EMILY DICKINSON HANDBOOK : Edited by Gudrun Grabher, Roland Hagenbuchle, and Cristanne Miller. 480 pp. Amherst : University of Massachusetts Press, 1998. ISBN 1-55849-169-4 (hbk.)

For anyone who is seriously interested in Emily Dickinson, this is a marvelous book that provides up-to-date information about her life and works, her letters and manuscripts, the cultural climate of her age, her reception and influence, and what is going on in current Dickinson scholarship.

The book's 22 essays have been distributed in eight sections : Introduction; Biography; Historical Context; The Manuscripts; The Letters; Dickinson's Poetics; Reception and Influence; New Directions in Dickinson Scholarship.

Although I've read many critical collections, several of which were devoted exclusively to Dickinson, I can't remember ever having been so impressed. Usually an anthology will hold one or two outstanding contributions, with the rest being humdrum and of little real interest, but here pretty well all of them are outstanding, and I found only one that struck me as being both pretentious and obscure.

I was especially impressed by Robert Weisbuch's brilliant 'Prisming Dickinson, or Gathering Paradise by Letting Go,' by Josef Raab's 'The Metapoetic Element in Dickinson,' by Martha Nell Smith's 'Dickinson's Manuscripts,' by Paul Crumbley's 'Dickinson's Dialogic Voice,' by Roland Hagenbuchle's 'Dickinson and Literary Theory,' and in fact by many others. So much so that this seems to me the single most valuable book on Dickinson that I've ever seen, and the one from which I've learned most and continue to learn. It really is that good.

The book is bound in a full strong cloth, stitched, beautifully printed on excellent strong smooth ivory-tinted paper, has clearly been designed to withstand the heavy use it will be getting, and is excellent value for money. No serious student of Emily Dickinson should be without it. Weisbuch's essay, serving as it does to provide one with a whole new way of understanding ED, is pretty well worth the price of the book itself.

So don't pass this one up! It's a gem!

5-0 out of 5 stars Do yourself a favor
If you are new to Dickinson studies, or if you simply want to read the most current thinking about the poems, The Emily Dickinson Handbook is a must.It contains essays on subjects ranging from the historical contextof the poems to the poet's metapoetic sensibility.This text is also awonderful introduction to the writings of the finest Dickinson scholarsextant.Richard Sewall, Paul Crumbley, Christanne Miller, Sharon Cameron,Martha Nell Smith, and many other great thinkers offer the reader a glimpseinto the realm of magic and poetry.If you love Emily Dickinson, doyourself a favor -- read this book. ... Read more

13. Selected Poems & Letters of Emily Dickinson
by Emily Dickinson
Paperback: 352 Pages (1959-09-01)
list price: US$10.95 -- used & new: US$1.98
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Asin: 038509423X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description
This Anchor edition includes both poems and letters, as well as the only contemporary description of Emily Dickinson, and is designed for readers who want the best poems and most interesting letters in convenient form. An excellent introduction to the work of a poet whose originality of thought remains unsurpassed in American poetry. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Mystery
I have come to believe that Emily Dickinson is the greatest writer America has produced. Unfortunately, the poet remained in anonymity and so went without constructive criticism. Her poems, while splendid, were not of thedepth of Whitman nor the pleasure of Longfellow. They did not"live" like Poe's. But they lived; only heavier in breath. So itis not her poetry that we look at to find America's greatest writer, it isthese wonderful letters. At thirteen her imagery is as complicated asMailer or Morrison might ever be. And in our age of television, no geniuswill surpass these imaginings. To read Emily is to fall in love with her.Certainly misunderstood. Unapreciated. My copy of this books is weatheredlike a Baptist preachers Bible. It is my favorite book of all time. Emilyis my favorite writer. Not everyone I recomend this book too enjoys it asmuch as I, but please try. You may find something special. ... Read more

14. The Life of Emily Dickinson
by Richard B. Sewall
Paperback: 924 Pages (1998-07-15)
list price: US$28.50 -- used & new: US$16.95
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Asin: 0674530802
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Winner of the National Book Award, this massively detailed biography throws a light into the study of the brilliant poet.How did Emily Dickinson, from the small window over her desk, come to see a life that included the horror, exaltation and humor that lives her poetry? With abundance and impartiality, Sewall shows us not just the poet nor the poetry, but the woman and her life.Book Description

The life of Emily Dickinson, Richard B. Sewall's monumental biography of the great American poet (1830-1886), wont the National Book Award when it was originally publsihed in two volumes. Now available in the one-volume eidtion, it has been called "by far the best and most complete study of the poet's life yet to be written, the result of nearly twenty years of work" (The Atlantic).

R.W.B. Lewis has hailed it as "a major event in Americn letters," adding that "Richard Sewall's biographical vision of Emily Dickinson is as complete as humans cholarship, ingenuity, stylistic pungency, and common sense can arrive at."
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Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Agreat book!
If you are looking to buy just one biography of this great poet, this is the one to buy. Extremely detailed with a lot of period photographs of Emily and her family and friends. The appendixes are full of source documents, including excerpts from personal correspondence. Not easy reading, but well worth the effort. If you really want to know Emily Dickinson, get this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not really a biography
I have just read this book and enjoyed it thoroughly. However, the title is somewhat misleading, as this is not a conventional biography. Other than a few chapters on her childhood and early education, the book is arranged in "theme" chapters, each focussing on a particular person or aspect of her life, illustrated, and heavily annotated, with letters and poems related to that theme.

I ended the book with more questions about her life than I had at the beginning. Many of them are barely addressed in the book, or just hinted at. Perhaps the book was intended for readers who are already very familiar with the biographical details.

Just as one example, the author mentions several times the eye problem that led to one of Emily's rare trips away from her home for treatement in Boston. I kept thinking that sooner or later some further details about this eye problem would be revealed, but there was never more than a few widely scattered sentences about it. Perhaps there isn't enough evidence to be able to conjecture as to the nature of the problem, but the author doesn't even seem to think it's an important enough detail to require a weighing of the evidence.

Likewise her mother's long illness, which played a role in Emily's withdrawal from the world, is mentioned but its nature is not discussed, other than a mention that she was paralyzed near the end of her life. Did she suffer a stroke? Was she lucid? Since Emily was her primary caregiver, it would seem that these details might bear on her own emotional state during the years of this illness and would warrant at least some speculation.

Even Emily's own final illness remains a mystery. We learn that her sister blamed it on the ill treatment received from her sister-in-law, and that her doctor attributed it to "nerves". However, from other hints, it seems to be a progessively debilitating illness. There is never as much as a paragraph in the entire book which speculates on the nature of this fatal illness or how much she might have been incapacitated between the first attack in June 1884 and her death in May 1885. "Nerves" seems to me to be an insufficient explanation for the death of the poet after an illness of eleven months. Are we sure the fainting spell was related to the final illness? Was she ill for the entire eleven months? For how long was she bedridden? The author doesn't even pose these questions.

In a book of 821 pages, there is no index entry for "illness". "Death [of ED]" has 7 widely scattered and brief entries, one of which is a footnote, one of which is a 13-sentence entry on how her death affected her brother, one of which is the text of her obituary and three of which describe her funeral(on pages 273, 575 and 667, to show how scattered they are). The seventh entry refers to her obituary, but seems to be a mistake, as I find no mention of her death or obituary on the page cited.

The book is especially good on the life of her brother Austin, and is also good on her father. Her mother and sister remain mysterious, probably because they were not much more exposed to public scrutiny than Emily herself was. It is obvious that her sister was nearly as much of a recluse as Emily, or at least was perceived as such by their neighbors.

In such a scattered book, there is inevitably a good deal of repetition of details. The three mentions of Emily's funeral cited above, for example, are mostly identical. Poems are also quoted in part or in their entirety multiple times.

There is an index of the poems and the pages on which they are discussed, which is useful for understanding the context of some of these, although the author acknowledges that the dating of the poems presents many problems.

There is a chronology at the beginning of the book, which really is the closest there is to a temporal ordering of the poet's life. I would suggest photocopying it and using it as a bookmark, because there is little chronological ordering, even within chapters at times. I found myself asking such things as, "Was this before her brother's marriage or after? Was her father still alive when this happened?" As a matter of fact, because I didn't have the chronology in front of me, I was surprised to realize, when I had almost finished the book, that Emily's father was still alive during the period of her most intense literary activity. After the early chapter devoted to her father's life, he is not often mentioned again, and I had somehow remained with the impression that he had died much earlier in her life.

Much as I enjoyed this book, I am left wanting another book to fill in the gaps. However, I learned enough about the partisanal nature of her biographers to be wary of choosing one.

3-0 out of 5 stars Find an editor
Somewhere among the 800 pages of this tome is a great 250-page biography. Mr. Sewall has assembled a massively detailed account of ED's life. I know presenting myriad detail of a subject's life is the biographer's method for removing themselves from the reader's relationship and experience of the subject, but I find this current trend of unleashing 800 to 1200 page biographies very taxing on the general reader.Although I wasn't completely disappointed in Mr. Sewall's biography, I was hoping for a tighter depiction of ED's life.I'm a general reader, not an academician. I was simply looking for an account of ED's life that would help me better understand her sublime poetry.This book delivered too much matter and not enough essence for me. However, the final chapter of the book entitled "The Poet" was very enlightening and poignantly written. This last chapter deserves 5 stars, the rest of the book 2.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for College Courses
Emily Dickinson is easily my favorite poet (also see my review on "Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson", which every poetry lover should own). I took a college course that focused on Emily Dickinson and these were the two books used for that course (there were optional books, which I also read, but nowhere near as good as these). The author's analysis of some poems can be questioned (whose cannot?), but the wealth of material presented is incredible. This is THE reference book about her life. So, if you want details about the woman behind the beautiful words, then get this book. Also consider visiting her house in Amherst (MA), which still has tours during the warmer months. All three things will give you a very good look into her writing.

4-0 out of 5 stars So close yet so far
Richard Sewall skillfully amasses a large shuffling pile of letters promising insight into the true Emily Dickinson. Starting the book left me hopeful for great things to come.He methodically, almost puritanically, reviews the lives surrounding and including the Dickinson family piling the letters upon each other.Yet, in the end, what possibly made Emily Dickinson withdraw into her room and from the world?Forced to abandon suitors by her Father, rejection by Sue after a brief gay encounter, agoraphobia?Any and all possibilities are buried under the letters and placed in obscure footnotes at best.Emily Dickinson is possibly the greatest poet from North America, and probably was a Gandhi-like reincarntion for the feminist movement in the United States; yet "The Life of Emily Dickinson" doesn't deliver through Richard Sewall's storm of letters. ... Read more

15. The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Reading Edition (Belknap)
by Emily Dickinson
Hardcover: 696 Pages (1999-09-24)
list price: US$32.50 -- used & new: US$28.09
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Asin: 0674676246
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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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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Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Emily meets granddaughter - One poet to another
how delightful to find a beautiful copy to introduce my granddaughter to Emily Dickinson

5-0 out of 5 stars Best way to read all of Dickinson
How do you begin to review the complete poems of Emily Dickinson? Reading beginning-to-end, every line of every poem is the very best way to encounter her, and this edition the best way to undertake the adventure. She has so many dimensions that just when you think you're beginning to understand her well, she shows you another facet, a new side. Having plummeted into the sea of her verse and become dripping wet, I invite you to do likewise. Life is filled with little surprises, and one of the greatest for me has been Emily Dickinson's couplets, short little two-line poems. Here's one that I nominate for winner in the category "best short love poem in English:" "Least rivers - docile to some sea.// My Caspian - thee." (206)

My advice is don't be overly swayed by focusing on the poems you and the world already know well: e.g. "Because I could not stop for death" and others. Try focusing on some you may never have seen before.In case you are wondering, I'm no relation to Emily Dickinson--just a kindred spirit!

4-0 out of 5 stars The Poems of Emily Dickinson
The readers' edition of The Poems of Emily Dickinson provides a condensed and affordable alternative to the three-volume variorum edition, also published by Belknap.It contains the same number of poems, but omits the alternate versions and contextual notes Franklin includes in the variorum.I prefer this edition of Dickinson's poetry to the 1955 edition edited by Thomas Johnson because it includes several poems the earlier one didn't, and because Franklin seems to have a better handle on transcribing Emily Dickinson's sometimes confusing handwriting than Johnson did.This collection is a good acquisition for anyone planning to study Dickinson, or anyone who wants to read her poems in their original, non-Victorianized form.Her original spelling and punctuation lend even more character to her already intriguing poems, so reading them this way is an experience I would definitely recommend.

5-0 out of 5 stars New readers's edition is authoritative
Now there are two readers' editions of Emily Dickinson's poems that are usable for close readings and scholarship.By usable, I mean that the texts--note the word "texts"--are close to what Emily Dickinson wanted them to be.The earlier Thomas H. Johnson text has been an acceptable and competent version since it was published in 1955.Johnson's readers' edition-the one without all the scholarly apparatus-contains 1775 poems.(In the same year Belknap Press of Harvard University Press issued his three-volume variorum of all the known poems.)This is cool.This new version of Emily Dickinson poems was edited by R.W. Franklin, and the readers' edition was published in 1999.It contains 1789 poems-unfortunately with a different numbering than Johnson--based, we are told, on probable date of composition.Franklin also edited a fresh variorum edition also published by Belknap Press of Harvard. I am boring you with all of this detail to tell you that although the Johnson texts are good texts if you are serious about Dickinson--meaning if you actually care about what she wrote on the page--the Franklin will give accurate texts and is the new authority.F.W. Franklin has been working since the '60's on details where Johnson perhaps lacked information and insight. He knows whereof he speaks, and he has done his utmost to reassemble Ms. Dickinson's original manuscripts in their proper order.Previous versions of the poems--those before Johnson and Franklin--regularized rhyme and otherwise abrogated the accuracy of the poems.They were cleaned up according to late 19th century standards, and the texts--despite editorial comments to the contrary--are corrupt.That means that they are inaccurate.In conclusion, if you want Emily Dickinson with accuracy--despite the rapturous testimony of some reviewers of other presentations of the poems--go for the Johnson or Franklin texts.Franklin is most current and should be impeccable. Other texts, including some that are in supposedly respectable American literature anthologies, may be suspect. (One of the most respectable uses texts that derive from late 19th century texts that were declared corrupt some 40 years ago.)

5-0 out of 5 stars Poems of Emily Dickinson
This is an excellent book for anyone who LOVES Emily Dickinson.Although it does not contain all the different versions of her poems, it is comprehensively edited to have the version of each known poem that is believed to be Dickinson's most complete and revised.This edition also seem to have the most complete collection of poems--1,789-- compared to the other "complete poems".However, if you are looking for an edition for studious reasons, this edition does have different numbering for the poems than the ones usually used (the editor claims them to be in the most accurate chronological order possible).
The binding of this book is VERY nice and has its own ribbon for marking pages.Definitely a nice book. ... Read more

16. Emily Dickinson: A Bibliography, December 10, 1830-May 15, 1886.
by George F., intro. Dickinson] Whicher
 Hardcover: Pages (1930)

Asin: B000WW6USW
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17. Emily Dickinson: A Collection of Critical Essays
by Judith Farr
Paperback: 268 Pages (1995-08-02)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$6.95
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Asin: 013033524X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description
A truly useful collection of literary criticism ona widely studied author, this collection of essays, selected andintroduced by a distinguished scholar, makes the most informative andprovocative critical work easily available to the general public. KEYTOPICS: Offers volumes of the same excellence for the contemporary moment.Captures and makes accessible the most stimulating critical writing of ourtime on a crucial literary figure of the past. Also included is anintroduction to the author's life and work, a chronology of important dates,and a selected bibliography. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Success is counted sweetest by those who ne'er succeed
This is a review of the anthology edited by Richard B. Sewall. It gives much useful information and analysis of the poetry of Dickinson. Sewall's provides a useful introductory essay in which he centers on the significance of the 1955 first complete edition of her poems ed. by Thomas Johnson.
I was surprised however by so many negative notes on her poetry, especially those of Yvor Winters, and Richard Blackmur. It is as if they were truly to hold her and judge her by some kind of objective rule for poetry.
But a great poet and she is truly a great poet makes a rule of their own.
Emily Dickinson creates a language and a world, a way of seeing things and feeling things so deep so unique so metaphorically adventurous and beautiful that it is one of truly great works of poetic art that we have.
"Speech is a symptom of affection
And Silence one,
The perfectest Communication
Is heard of none..

4-0 out of 5 stars True art escapes categories.
EMILY DICKINSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ARTICLES.Edited by Judith Farr.New Century Views.268 pages.Upper Saddle River, NJ: 1996.ISBN 0-13-033524-X(pbk).

After an interesting, informative, and vigorously written Introduction by Judith Farr, eighteen articles of varying quality follow.Of the eighteen, at least eight are definitely worth reading.From these eight, the reader comes away with an enhanced appreciation of ED's work, with a better idea of how to go about reading and understanding her poems, and in awe of her giant sensibility.

Most of the remaining essays, unfortunately, seem to a greater or lesser extent to share the same defect.They have been written from either a Christian or feminist perspective, and seem determined at all costs to find ways of making ED fit the procrustean beds of their respective ideologies.As such they end up telling us much more about their writers than about ED, and I personally found many of them unreadable.

There are so many today who seem determined to reduce ED, to cut her down to their own diminished size and rope her in for their particular cause, so many partisans who are desperately pretending: "In fact, you know, Emily Dickinson is really one of us!"ED, it is stridently affirmed, was an American, a Christian, and a female poet ofthe 19th century.But we all know that there were many such poets.And where are they now?Who is reading them?No-one.And if that's all ED had been I don't think anyone today would be reading her either.

ED escaped all bounds.She was, in a sense, not an 'American,' certainly not a 'Christian,' and not even a 'woman.'She wasa human being immersed like all of us in the human condition, and speaking to us out of that condtion in a way no-one has ever spoken before."Truth is so rare a thing," she once said, and her poems offer us that commodity in abundance, irrespective of our nationality, religion, or gender.

Relevant here is the indignant remark of Georgia O'Keefe which Judith Farr quotes in her fine Introduction: "I am not a _woman_ artist, I am an Artist."Farr comments: "True art, as Dickinson herselfsuggests . . . finally escapes categories: national, temporal, sexual" (p.15, italics in original).In other words, as a poet, ED addresses herself, not to that which divides us, but to our shared humanity.

Besides Judith Farr, I think that of the critics in the present collection at least eight others would probably agree with this.The general excellence and unbiased quality of their pieces make this collection well worth having:

Richard Wilbur, for his extremely interesting "Sumptuous Destitution," (a piece which is immediately followed by a rather weak and unconvincing feminist riposte).

Cynthia Griffin Wolff, for her Bakhtinian '[Im]pertinent Constructions of the Body and Self.'

Suzanne Juhasz, for her stimulating "The Landscape of the Spirit."

David Porter, for his 'Strangely Abstracted Images,' an extract from his The Modern Idiom (1981).

Cristanne Miller, for her 'Dickinson's Experimental Grammar: Nouns and Verbs,' an extract from her Emily
Dickinson: A Poet's Grammar

Kamilla Denman, for her superb 'Emily Dickinson's Volcanic Punctuation.'

Judy Jo Small, for her 'A Musical Aesthetic,' an extract from her Positive as Sound (1990).

Jerome McGann, for his brief but important 'Emily Dickinson's Visible Language.'I was particularly impressed by this as it seems to me to demonstrate conclusively the pressing need for an edition of ED's poems that would finally respect her lineation. ... Read more

18. Emily Dickinson: Selected Letters
by Emily Dickinson
Paperback: 384 Pages (2006-01-19)
list price: US$24.00 -- used & new: US$19.50
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Asin: 0674250702
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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5-0 out of 5 stars Essential Piece of the Dickinson Puzzle
An appraisal of this great figure's work is incomplete without a good look at these selected letters. As fascinating to the Dickinson scholar as they are to the casual enthusiast, Dickinson's letters -- along with those of Keats or Hopkins -- prove that this is every bit as legitimate a genre as fiction or poetry. Some of Dickinson's most gorgeous and enduring statements are here, and to read these in chronological order is to map the gradual development of America's premier woman poet. Even in a letter she wrote at 12-years-old, the idiosyncratic dashes with which she distinguished her poetic voice are abundant, and already have that effect of forcing the reader to savor clusters of words as they unravel down the page. Similarly, Dickinson's mind-blowing instinct for the staggering metaphor is in full gear throughout ("Vinnie came soft as a moccasin") and, for all her great death poetry, it is in a letter regarding the death of her father where we find perhaps her most vulnerable and moving confrontation with mortality:

"Father does not live with us now -- he lives in a new house. Though it was built in an hour it is better than this. He hasn't any garden because he moved after gardens were made, so we take him the best flowers, and if we only knew he knew, perhaps we could stop crying."

Perhaps most fascinating of all, though, is the mixture of extremes Dickinson's personality manifests throughout these letters, a crude bluntness that mingles with the most tender innocence. She at once condemns a cousin's valentine as "A little condescending, & sarcastic, your Valentine to me, I thought" and begins another missive with the exuberant mysticism of a child speaking as if out of some fairytale: "I wanted to write, and just tell you that me, and my spirit were fighting this morning. It isn't known generally, and you musn't tell anybody." Of course, this book also includes that characteristically bizarre and unforgettable final letter, which she wrote while suffering from the illness that would take her life just days later: "Little Cousins, Called Back. Emily." Especially enjoyable about this particular volume are the endnotes with which the editor follows up most letters. These brief but informed observations offer a fascinating and thorough glimpse into Dickinson's reading life, while also helping to illuminate her more obscure autobiographical allusions. This book is as fascinating an odyssey as Dickinson's complete poems, and I think readers do themselves a great service by delving into these letters alongside that more celebrated aspect of her genius.

5-0 out of 5 stars Precious surviving fragments of a great oeuvre.
EMILY DICKINSON SELECTED LETTERS.Edited by Thomas H. Johnson. 364 pp.Cambridge, Massachusetts : The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1971.SBN674-25060-5 (hbk).

Emily Dickinson was a great letter writer, in all senses of theword.In fact one gets the impression that she actually preferred writing to people, than meeting and conversing with them, and for her the arrival of a letter was a great event.A letter was something she looked forward to with keen anticipation, and which she savored to the full whenever one arrived.

The present selection of letters represents only a small proportionof the letters Emily Dickinson actually wrote.She was an inveterate letter-writer, had many correspondents, and wrote thousands of letters.And peoplein those days collected letters just as today.

Unfortunately it was the custom, whenever anyone died, to make a bonfire of all of their correspondence, probably because of its personal and confidentialnature.In this way thousands of pages of Emily Dickinson's writings have been lost to posterity, and we would know much more aboute the details of her day-to-day life, and be able to date her poems more accurately, if it hadn't been for thistragic loss.

Just how great the loss is may be gaged by taking a look at the way Ellen Louise Hart and Martha Nell Smith have treated her letters in 'Open Me Carefully : Emily Dickinson's Intimate Letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson' (1998).Whereas Thomas Johnson prints all of ED's letters as straight prose, which of course leads us to read them as straight prose, Hart-Smith give us theirparticular letters as they actually appear in the original draft - not as continous lines of prose but as very short lines with numerous line breaks - in other words, as poetry.

It would seem that at least some of ED's 'letters' are not so much letters as 'letter-poems,' and when read as poems produce a remarkable rangeof effects that are lost when all line breaks are removed and the 'letter' is regularized as straight prose.The loss of her letters now begins to look much more serious, for there seems to be a growing feeling among readers that her letters were every bit as great an artistic achievement as her poems.

Given this, the present book becomes something that should interest all serious students of ED, although before reading it they might (if they haven't already) take at look at the Hart-Smith, and keep it in mind while reading the Johnson.One wonders how much poetry may be lurking unrecognized in the regularized lines of 'EmilyDickinson's Selected Letters.'

5-0 out of 5 stars A letter like immortality

If you are, like me, an Emily Dickinson's great admirer you will be genuinely drawn into this book. Emily Dickinson has bewitched and perplexed everyone with her extremely profound poetry disguised in apparent simplicity. However, in her book of letters we uncover the woman (and not the author) behind her work, whose main assets were acute sensitivity and lovingness. This collection, unlike other books of the genre, such as Elizabeth Bishop's One Art or Keats's book of letters, do not reveal much of her poetry, as her mental struggle with the work, her intentions, or choice of words. Even so, the reader is allowed into her family relationships, into her care and love for her few friends, and above all into her deep-set feeling of solitude. Besides, throughout her letters she discloses her main existential concerns, which are inevitably reflected in her poems. This book makes it possible to discover the books she read and the ones that offered her the greatest pleasure. As the collection includes from her juvenile writings to her latest letters when already living in social "exile," they form a most engrossing reading, with the characteristics of an autobiography, without the intention by the author to write one. In her very words, "my letter as a bee, goes laden." ... Read more

19. Emily Dickinson's Vision: Illness and Identity in Her Poetry
Hardcover: 211 Pages (1998-02-01)
list price: US$59.95 -- used & new: US$6.45
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Asin: 0813015499
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20. Letters of Emily Dickinson
by Emily Dickinson
Hardcover: 1028 Pages (2007-01-20)
list price: US$118.50 -- used & new: US$118.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0674526279
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Book Description

Only five of Emily Dickinson's poems were published while she lived; today, approximately 1,500 are in print. Dickinson's poetry reflects the power of her contemplative gifts, and her deep sensitivity courses through her correspondence as well. Lovingly compiled by a close friend, this first collection of Dickinson's letters originally appeared in 1894, only eight years after the poet's death. Although she grew reclusive in her later years and seldom saw her many friends, she thought of them often and affectionately, as her missives attest. The small cast of daily characters in Dickinson's little world takes on vivid life in the letters, and her famous wit sparkles from every page.
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars The softcover edition is very nice
This edition of Letters of Emily Dickinson is a lot better than I expected after reading some reviews. It's actually really nice. The pages are of good quality. The correspondences are arranged chronologically by when they began and a few are accompanied by an image of the original, hand-written letter.

Overall, it's a solid edition.

1-0 out of 5 stars Irresponsible Attitude in Print Quality and Paper Used
For "The Letters of Emily Dickinson" by Thomas H. Johnson, 999 pages, Hardcover.

Paper used for Hardcover Edition is terrible, thin and fragile.After few pages read, your fingers will mark the pages easily.

Printing quality is bad, may be plates used are too old.Characters are ambiguous sometimes; often an "e" looks like a "c". You can even see some fiber marks in the print, it looks like a product from an old copy machine. Unclean printing makes this too-white paper even dirtier.

This is an irresponsible attitude for Hardcover book. Unlike "The Manuscript Books of Emily Dickinson" also by Belknap Press Harvard, which has excellent quality.Price is about the same, $110 for 999 pages and $220 for 1442 pages.

The content suits my needs perfectly, thought it spoiled my reading everytime. It should be improved. ... Read more

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