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The Essential Dickinson

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  169 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Emily Dickinson saw fewer than twenty of her 1,775 poems published during her lifetime: when she died in 1886, her obscurity as a poet was nearly total. Now widely recognized as one of the great American poets of the nineteenth century, she is one of a handful from any period whose enduring stature in the world of letters is matched by the loyal affection of generation aft ...more
Hardcover, 94 pages
Published November 1st 1996 by Ecco (first published 1996)
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Ryan Heaven
Sep 13, 2014 Ryan Heaven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm incredibly thankful for having studied American literature at university this year as I was given the chance to immerse myself in the work of this amazing woman. Easily one of my favourite poets - her imagery and rhythm are astounding, each poem shrouded in enigma. Aside from her work she was an interesting individual in her own right: a retiring, reserved woman who in private wrote about death, religion, madness - things many nineteenth-century women tended to stay away from. Often odd, alw ...more
Jenny
Jul 25, 2015 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I don't read a lot of poetry because I feel like I don't always "get it". That was true with many of these poems...but some were quite beautiful and/or meaningful. A few I liked:

Fame is a fickle food
Upon a shifting plate
Whose table once a
Guest but not
The second time is set
Whose crumbs the crows inspect
And with ironic caw
Flap past it to the
Farmers Corn
Men eat of it and die


Behind Me--dips Eternity--
Before Me--immortality--
Myself--the Term between--
Death but the Drift of Eastern Gray,
Dissolvin
...more
Randy
Dec 17, 2009 Randy rated it really liked it
Since I'm not fully familiar with the entirety of Dickinson's work, I can't comment as to how 'essential' the selected poems in this volume are. Though, superficially, it seems to be a pretty good cross-section.

To this point I hadn't read a ton of Dickinson, knowing her only obliquely through a few scant lines reviewed in some college survey courses. I remembered her mostly as a dark and prickly writer who wrote jagged, slanted verse. I find that initial impression holds largely true. It takes a
...more
Melinda
Poetry is not usually my 'thing', but I was inspired to try and add some more prose into my reading lists by participating in the Sugar Pop 2016 reading challenge. And so I picked up some Emily Dickinson - and to be honest, I found it actually quite intriguing, quite soothing for the spitit, quite uplifting, and quite challenging. Forced me to think (and re-read) in ways I do not normally go, but well worth the effort.
Sachin
Jun 19, 2010 Sachin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No other poet, in such a remarkable beauty of the lyrical verse, has provided a glimpse into the vision of death and eternity than Dickinson.
"The Famous recluse dressed in white", as she is often addressed, shows her eternal Love for The Master. She firmly believes in the live after death as is also expressed by the title of one of her poems, "The world is not conclusion - a sequel stands beyond".

Evocation of the death scene and portraying death vividly is her major characteristic, besides, she
...more
Leslie
Feb 09, 2008 Leslie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I had always thought of Emily Dickinson as a bit too precious for my tastes. But when a friend of mine recited from "It was not Death for I Stood up/ And all the Dead -- Lie down," I decided it was time I investigated the poet's more melancholy side.

All my original preconceptions of Miss Dickinson were completely idiotic and I owe her a thousand apologies.

I've never liked huge volumes of poetry, and this one is satisfyingly small and intimate. It offers a wonderful selection of her work, and I v
...more
Amethyst
Dec 29, 2011 Amethyst rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this as I was teaching Dickinson for The Big Read here in Tucson. I very much appreciated Oates' selection of poems (including many I had never seen before) and her introduction to Dickinson.
Jana Eichhorn
It's not you, Ms. Dickinson. It's me. I'm not the world's biggest poetry fan to begin with, and to be honest, I can't hear your poems without trying to sing them all to " The Yellow Rose of Texas." I think I might be more of a Dorothy Parker kind of a girl.
Gail Hill
Nov 17, 2011 Gail Hill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Poems of Emily Dickinson's life.
Nicole
May 11, 2015 Nicole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
RTC
Dennis McKeon
Jan 16, 2014 Dennis McKeon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How do you not like Emily Dickinson?

Poetry comforts me. It's one of life's little pleasures.

This volume is a gem.

Kim Kralowec
Jan 01, 2012 Kim Kralowec rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
This is a good pocket-sized selection of Dickinson's poems. Good for someone who is just being introduced to the poet, or who wants a smaller volume to carry around.
Stevenj
Jun 27, 2007 Stevenj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Read by Julie Harris
Mackenna Swing
strange and beautiful portrayal of the human psyche. unapologetically raw & honest
Cesia
Oct 13, 2016 Cesia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is very sophisticated and interesting. It gives you an idea of the many life challenges and the way we can express them.
Paige
May 16, 2013 Paige rated it it was amazing
My review is simple. I love the Shakespearean flow of her poetry.
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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
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