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The Poems of Emily Dickinson (Variorum Edition)
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The Poems of Emily Dickinson (Variorum Edition)

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  1,824 ratings  ·  76 reviews
Edited by the nation's foremost authority on the poet's manuscripts, a three-volume edition presents 1,789 chronologically arranged poems--the largest number ever assembled--drawn from archives and lost manuscripts, accompanied by tables and an introducti
Hardcover, 1680 pages
Published October 15th 1998 by Belknap Press (first published January 1st 1948)
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I've read a fair bit of her work...and all I can say is that it astounds me, seduces me, challenges me, enlightens me...I can't lay claim to being any kind of expert but I love her work. I'm actually kind of hesitant to read more of her because I think I'm not ready yet...
Dr. Carl Ludwig Dorsch

[Received April 26, 1862:]

MR. HIGGINSON,--Your kindness claimed earlier gratitude, but I was ill, and write to-day from my pillow.

Thank you for the surgery; it was not so painful as I supposed. I bring you others, as you ask, though they might not differ. While my thought is undressed, I can make the distinction; but when I put them in the gown, they look alike and numb.

You asked how old I was? I made no verse, but one or two, until this winter, sir.

I had a terror since September, I could te
Life is death we’re lengthy at,
Death the hinge of life.

This is the entire text of poem #502 in this edition, an edition gleaned from the editor’s three volume 2,500 sources variorum set of 1998. Dickinson’s poems are characteristically pithy and short, with idiosyncratic punctuation and grammar. Few were published in her lifetime. And due to the editorial changes made in them, she was very unhappy in those that were. American literature owes a great debt to her younger sister who, contrary to Em
For the last several months, I have been working through The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Reading Edition, and having finished it I can say it is one of the best books of poetry I have ever read. Dickinson is a fascinating poet, and I know of no better compilation of her poems better than this one.

When she died in 1886, Dickinson left behind nearly 1800 individual poems, 99% of which had never seen the light of day outside correspondance. She led an extremely private life, well known in her time on
Daniel Taylor
Aware that I don't read enough poetry, this collection of every one of Emily Dickinson's 1789 poems stood out on the library bookshelf.

It presents the poem in chronological order, with a section at the end for undated poems. Two connected themes recur in the poems, death and Christianity.

To judge this book accurately, it needs to be considered on two fronts. For starters, the aim of editor RW Franklin in putting together a "complete" collection of Dickinson's poems. On this front, the volume is
Every once in a while you read a writer who makes you realize how pedestrian your own writing is, as well as virtually everyone else’s. Emily Dickinson is such a writer. Unmarried, untraveled and writing before 1887, she nevertheless wrote in a modern, worldly and powerful style at which I can only marvel. The meaning of life, death and eternity seem much clearer in her slender hands.

Even though I previously read some of her work as a child, I can only fully appreciate her now that I have the co
Courtney Stoker
Nov 17, 2008 Courtney Stoker rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: poetry
This is such a good edition of Emily Dickinson. I would recommend it over any others I've read.

Emily Dickinson is addictive. Her poems seem so simple until you really dig into them, and that duel simplicity and complexity is what really draws me into them.

And for someone who spent most of her life in her home, Dickinson has some interesting insights into social life; in "I started Early - Took my Dog -", her depiction of male sexual pursuit is literally one of the most realistic things and intri
T.L. Cooper
I picked Emily Dickinson Poems up thinking I should study Dickinson's work. I'm fairly certain I read some of her poems in high school and/or college, but I'm not sure. Anyway, as with any should, this book sat in my to-be-read pile for a really long time. Occasionally, I'd pick it up and read a poem or two and then put it back. It was that should that kept getting in the way. Finally, I decided it was time to read these poems. I planned to read a couple each night before going to sleep. Most ni ...more
currently would like to get permission to publish her herbarium
Laura Martinelli
Full disclaimer- I really can't properly review poetry. Mainly because I suck at scansion and meter. Language, I'm good with, but everything else...not so much.

That out of the way, I do quite like Dickinson. This is a fairly comprehensive collection, covering three years of writing (1890, 1891, and 1896), and grouped into her four most prevalent subjects. There's a definite change in the tone of her poems from the 1890 section to 1896, and with the majority of topics (particularly anything in th
I am just past halfway and I really just want to give up on this for two reasons.

1. I don't particularly like Dickinson's poetry. Her nonstandard grammar makes it difficult to understand what she's on about. Out of 100s of poems, so far I have liked four. And one of those was only because it evoked ancient Chinese erotic poetry, if it was poorly translated, but then it is hard to write about bees visiting flowers without doing so [added: being erotic, that is].

2. The book itself. The book is cle
Mary Rose
En realidad su verdadero puntaje es 4,5
Para ser el primer libro de poemas que leo (ENTERO), me ha gustado bastante, sobretodo si en cada uno de los poemas de Dickinson traten de un tema diferente y que este fuera de lo acostumbrado (aunque bueno, esto se los dice una lectora que hasta ahora ha leido algunos poemas que siempre están centrado en el amor o desamor).
Solo podría recomendarles leer este libro si están interesados en leer un poco de poesía y, especialmente, de la mano de Emily Dicki
Patrice Miller
Feb 07, 2014 Patrice Miller rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone needing a poetic commute companion
Shelves: poetry
While not a definitive collection by any means, this collection is very lovingly edited. Some of Dickinson's more interesting meditations on pain, time, and the body are featured in here, and their arrangement creates a lovely conversation. It's small size makes it the perfect travel companion. My edition is dog-eared, pencil-lined, and well-worn.
Mila Temnyalova
"I YEARS had been from home" and "I MEASURE every grief I meet" are my all-time Dickinson favourites.

What I learned: I don't get it. I understand it was probably still huge to see a woman poet in her time about fifty years after Jane Austen, but I just don't see anything spectacular in this poetry! Topically: the styles don't do the ideas justice. As for the executions--boring. I want to be led and teased, dipped and climaxed; her poems all feel cut by the same carving of safe pacing and safe, prominently religious, ideas. They're quick, which is a plus--usually. They rhyme, which is definitely ...more
I read poetry on and off and have come back and read some by Emily Dickinson before and liked them.
This is the version I've read for my most recent Grad school class. I really appreciate the chronological order in which he placed the poems. While many say that order and theme are lost and Dickinson must be appreciated a poem at a time, I found that reading them in order added an interested depth and story to the poetry. Generally, I have a difficult time with poetry, and this was no exception. However, studying them and looking for connections and links made this a very enjoyable and enlighte ...more
Sonja Waters
this is a teeny tiny book that fits in your back pocket. this is also the first time i've actually really read emily d. maybe in high school, but i was a smart-ass kid and probably skimmed her works thinking they did not pertain to me. well, they do!! she is wonderful. her poems are swift and sharp. i carry this book with me everywhere and have read through it hundreds of times. the portability of it makes it my best friend, and the depth of it makes it a great thinking companion.
The best Emily Dickinson book of poetry I have come across, yet. This is a 6 x 9 inch hardcover I picked up in the Bargain Bin at Waldenbooks! Nice crisp, white pages. Poems well spaced out. Love it!

Separated into years:

1. Poems of 1890
2. Poems of 1891
3. Poems of 1896

Each year is further broken down:

Book I: Life

Book II: Love

Book III: Nature

Book IV: Time and Eternity

Well designed. Pretty! Not too heavy to hold. ;-)
The definitive text. A must on the book shelf, though it helps to turn down the pages on the best of her work to find the best of her work-unless of course you wish to hunt through some seventeen hundred poems to find the best poems of America's best poet.
Some that I really, like:
There's a certain slant of light
This consciousness that is aware
Our journey had advanced
A lot of her poems are tough for me to get.

Another of my mother's favorite poets. I love Emily Dickinson because she writes personally, simply, yet beautifully descriptive. I recommend her to all hungering souls! One quoted often by Mom is "I'm Nobody, Who are you? Are you nobody too? Then there's a pair of us--don't tell, they'd banish us you know..." For musicians, some of her poems have been set in trio arrangements. Lots of fun to sing!
I love Emily DIckinson for her courage to face herself, to asume her unique way of being, for her worship towards "WORDS", for her lonelyness and sorrow and - at last, but not al least - for her incredible joy of living and "paintings" in words...I love one poem in particular - "I am nobody. Who are you?" She says so much..
Suggestion: listen to Aaron Copland's lieders, while reading Emily's poems...
This is the new definitive edition of Dickinson's poetry, beautifully arranged and printed from the Variorum edition by the same editor. Dickinson is still one of the most original voices in American literature. I find her poems both playful and disturbing, but always a joy to read. I'm especially fond of "What mystery pervades a well" and "Renunciation is a piercing virtue" among others.

This was my first attempt at poetry other than Mother Goose :)

I thoroughly enjoyed it!

I think I should like to know Ms. Dickinson.

I never saw a moor,
I never saw the sea;
Yet I know how the heather looks,
And what a wave must be.

I never spoke to God,
Nor visited in heaven;
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the chart were given.
Jeni Enjaian
A review from my old blog...

I'm not much of a poetry fam. Sure, good poetry appeals to me and I appreciate good imagery.

Dickinson is very good poet. Unfortunately, 1800 poems all read in succession (not at one time of course) can be a bit overwhelming for the casual poetry reader.

If you like poetry then this is the book for you. If not then...
La speranza è un essere piumato
che si posa sull'anima,
canta melodie senza parole e non finisce mai.
La brezza ne diffonde l'armonia,
e solo una tempesta violentissima
potrebbe sconcertare l'uccellino
che ha consolato tanti.

L'ho ascoltato nella terra più fredda
e sui più strani mari.
Eppure neanche nella necessità
ha chiesto mai una briciola – a me.
One could quibble with the cover, with some of Ralph Franklin's editorial decisions, with some of the changes from Thomas Johnson's older edition of the poems...but that would really be missing the point. This is Emily Dickinson's complete poetry, for crying out loud! For me, it's the single greatest body of work in the English language.
Apr 24, 2013 Garren marked it as partially-read  ·  review of another edition
Since this collection is roughly in chronological order, it's difficult to read in order. Like any human, she just isn't very good starting off. The all-around bad poems aren't even much of a bother. What's really killing me are the poems that start out memorization-tier ...and then fall apart.

But I know she gets better.
The translation you want--as complete and unaltered as you will find and beautifully typed. Beware of other versions that take liberties with her punctuation and word choice. Even changing a single word, as some other editors sought fit to do, changes meaning and intent. If you want Emily, as Emily wrote, buy this copy.
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  • Leaves of Grass and Other Writings (Norton Critical Editions)
  • The Life of Emily Dickinson
  • My Emily Dickinson
  • Poems of Akhmatova
  • Tutte le poesie
  • La gioia di scrivere: Tutte le poesie (1945-2009)
  • Life Studies and For the Union Dead
  • Poesie d'amore
  • Dickinson: Selected Poems and Commentaries
  • Poems
  • The Pisan Cantos
  • Trilogy: The Walls Do Not Fall / Tribute to the Angels / The Flowering of the Rod
  • Ariel: The Restored Edition
  • Geography III
  • The Selected Poetry
  • John Keats: Poems (Everyman Poetry)
  • Disaffections: Complete Poems
  • The Emily Dickinson Reader: An English-to-English Translation of Emily Dickinson's Complete Poems
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...
The Complete Poems Selected Poems The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson Final Harvest: Poems Selected Poems and Letters

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“Forever – is composed of Nows – (690)

Forever – is composed of Nows –
‘Tis not a different time –
Except for Infiniteness –
And Latitude of Home –

From this – experienced Here –
Remove the Dates – to These –
Let Months dissolve in further Months –
And Years – exhale in Years –

Without Debate – or Pause –
Or Celebrated Days –
No different Our Years would be
From Anno Dominies –”
“There are, that resting, rise.
Can I expound the skies?
How still the riddle lies!”
More quotes…