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Open Me Carefully: Emily Dickinson's Intimate Letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson

4.27 of 5 stars 4.27  ·  rating details  ·  158 ratings  ·  16 reviews
For the first time, selections from Emily Dickinson's thirty-six year correspondence to her neighbor and sister-in-law, Susan Huntington Dickinson, are compiled in a single volume. Open Me Carefully invites a dramatic new understanding of Emily Dickinson's life and work, overcoming a century of censorship and misinterpretation.

For the millions of readers who love Emily Dic
Paperback, 362 pages
Published October 1st 1998 by Paris Press
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Deborah Markus
If you want to buy a collection of Emily Dickinson's letters, you have two choices. There is no complete collection currently in print, which throws me into a blind rage every time I think about it so let's just move on quickly, shall we – but there are two major editions of selected letters. (There are also minor, cutesy, gifty-looking volumes of letters, often with some poems thrown in for good measure; but never mind those for now.)

One of the collections is the first you're shown on Amazon. I
Considering myself less of a fan of poetry (in general) and more a fan of Emily Dickinson, the person, her thoughts and her life, I was completely enraptured by this piece of scholarly work. The editors' thesis was made plain throughout the book -- Emily and Susan were deeply devoted to one another throughout their lives. They spoke of everyday, emotional, spiritual, and literary matters and even collaborated in editing each others' poetry. The editors note that "in spite of the sheer volume of ...more
Becca Becca
I took a class in college by the woman who wrote this book, who is, by the way, absolutely infatuated with Emily Dickinson. In taking her Emily Dickinson class, I realized I wasn't so much a fan of Dickinson's poetry.
Paris Press

For the first time, selections from Emily Dickinson’s 36 year correspondence to her neighbor and sister-in-law, Susan Huntington Dickinson, are compiled in a single volume. Open Me Carefully invites a dramatic new understanding of Emily Dickinson’s life and work, overcoming a century of censorship and misinterpretation. This remarkable correspondence brings to light Susan Huntington Dickinson as the central source of the poet’s passion and inspiration, and
I must admit, poetry is not my strong suit, particularly when it comes to less structures and simplistically worded poetry. Though I had been briefly exposed to Dickinson’s poetry in High School, I had paid almost no attention to it, being largely over my head at the time. But this collection is not the general, without comment or context poetry I have seen before.

Often, Susan Dickinson - Emily’s close friend and eventual sister-in-law - was ignored by Dickinson scholars, but luckily, someone no
Sep 28, 2013 Zack added it
so fabulous. hadn't read much of dickinson and didn't realize she was a queer mystic.
Some of the most beautifully written letters ever written.
Emily Dickinson remains an enigma. The traditional (non-scholarly) view is that she was sexless, virginal, reclusive, and roamed her Amherst cemetery like a lonely ghost. Her poetry has always reflected otherwise. Its passion and lyrical propulsion complicate this vision, but scholars argue about who was Dickinson's true muse. Was it nature, the unknown "Master," or Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Massachusetts minister/abolitionist and literary correspondent to Dickinson? Ellen Louis Hart and Marth ...more
I gave this four stars since I thought the editor did a tremendous job giving background information, explaining esoteric allusions in Emily's poems and letters and in arranging the poems themselves. It was obvious the editor did her research. However, whether you like the book or not truly depends on how well you like poetry in general and Emily Dickinson's poems in particular. I am new to poetry, but I am giving the genre my best efforts and the benefit of the doubt. There were a few poems tha ...more
Another of those mind-changing literary biographies (like Claire Tomalin's biography of Jane Austen and Louise de Salvo's biography of Virginia Woolf). This book gave me a view of Emily Dickinson that shattered every myth of her that I'd been exposed to. Absolutely lovingly compiled and written by Ellen Louise Hart. The fact that so much of what's in the book are Emily's own words, and some of Susan's, allows readers an intimate look at Emily's inner life. This book sits alongside Tomalin's and ...more
I am a die hard fan of Emily D. I leaf through the collection of poems just for inspiration and sometimes just to remember certain times and feelings I've been through.

This book caught my attention because of it's title. What a lovely title I thought. And then I realised what it was ;-)
she writes beautiful poems, and letters. she is fierce and passionate, and these letters subtly changed my perception of her as one undiscovered to one that was already living in a surfeit of emotion though barely published in her lifetime.
I am starting to thinking this was a one way correspondence. It is apparent that Emily was really really fond of Susan, to the point where it could cause great pain. But I also wonder, what Susan said in reply.
Apr 11, 2012 Hannah rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Emily Dickinson fans; those interested in 18th century female relationships
What a lovely collection of letters! I think I'd be on cloud nine if Emily Dickinson had sent me just half of the dozens of letters she exchanged with "Susie" over the years. What a friendship.
Very enjoyable -- the joy, depth and feeling of Emily Dickinson's letters to her sister-in-law reflect another time -- before email!
well wow for not ever publishing any of her poems,loving coorrespondence and her sister-in-law is coolalso
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Emily Dickinson was an American poet who, despite the fact that less than a dozen of her nearly eighteen hundred poems were published during her lifetime, is widely considered one of the most original and influential poets of the 19th century.

Dickinson was born to a successful family with strong community ties, she lived a mostly introverted and reclusive life. After she studied at the Amherst Aca
More about Emily Dickinson...

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“In a Life that
stopped guessing,
you and I should
not feel at home”
“You will forgive me, for I never visit. I am from the fields, you know, and while quite at home with the Dandelion, make but sorry figure in a Drawing -- room -- Did you ask me out with a bunch of Daisies, I should thank you, and accept --” 0 likes
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