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Emily Dickinson: Letters

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  241 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
The same voice and insights that make Emily Dickinson’s poems immortal can be found in the letters she wrote to her family and friends throughout her life. The selection of letters presented here provides a fuller picture of the eccentric recluse of legend, showing how immersed in life she was: we see her tending her garden; baking bread; marking the marriages, births, and ...more
Hardcover, Everyman's Library Pocket Poets, A Borzoi Book, 247 pages
Published April 19th 2011 by Everyman's Library (first published 1894)
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Alan
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Behold, unwrap the highest genius. Like Keats alone among poets, Dickinson's letters exhibit that genius. In fact, she compares winter to, " Keats's bird, 'who hops and hops in little journeys.'" Andrew Marvell's letters, for instance, are humdrum affairs mostly written in his public voice as parliamentary representative. ED writes with her poet's ear, "Friends are gems--infrequent" (II.352, 1859). Or, check this sentiment which would compound among moderns (even inaugural poets): "I have heard ...more
Sarah
Dec 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This small book prompts me to read a larger collection. Dickinson's letters are mostly prose poems, beautiful observations connected with her everyday life. Writing to a friend just after her father's death: "His heart was pure and terrible, and I think no other like it exists. I am glad there is Immortality, but would have tested it myself, before intrusting him...Your beautiful hymn, was it not prophetic? It has assisted that pause of space which I call "father".
And to the critic Higginson: "
...more
Ryan
Aug 20, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found some sections to be really interesting and entertaining, but it was just too much of the same stuff over and over. The letter she wrote when she was 13-14 shows that she was a certifiable genius, ridiculous. I also think she's one of the most mysterious people in the history of the world, if not #1.
Jbondandrews
Apr 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Letters of Emily Dickinson were as wonderful as her poetry.
BookLady
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, poetry
Emily Dickinson es una dama enigmática, romántica, sensible y que ama, ama mucho y con toda su alma, literalmente. A través de sus cartas conocemos más allá de la Emily que vivió en reclusión auto impuesta y con fiebres constantes. En sus cartas comparte sus alegrías y tristezas con sus amigos del colegio, primos, hermanos y maestros o editores. Emily fomentaba el cariño a través de sus cartas, que enviaba casi constantemente, que en visitas presenciales. Un tema recurrente es la noción de morta ...more
Jan Olsson
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable read if you like the poetry of Emily Dickinson. "Truth if such a rare thing, it is delightful to tell it. I find ecstasy in living, the mere sense of living is joy enough."
Gloria
Feb 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The letters begin when Dickinson was 15 --- 15! And she writes with the maturity, wisdom, and eloquence of someone with far more years and experience. I linger over each letter, watching to find where the gifted poet she became shows up in the teen-aged Emily. At 15, I wore too much hair spray and mooned over boys. Emily was writing about gardens, the passing of the seasons, and death (most affectingly, the boys she knew who died in the Civil War). So far, though, her letters shed little light o ...more
Laura
Aug 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The Emily of the letters is different from the Emily of the poems. She is overwhelmingly full of love and affection and sweet thoughts in the letters (of course this is just a selection) -- a different tone from the poems. An intriguing companion but medium-weight in comparison to the poems.

I would've appreciated more annotations to some of the letters in this edition. The way the notes were presented in this edition were a bit awkward, coming as they did in the same heading and format as the re
...more
Yasmin
Apr 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An insight into the poet Emily Dickinson outside of her poems. The letters have been condenced by the looks of things and I suppose a bigger book would have been needed to print the letters in full. She was a very funny, obversent and highly sensitive woman, which can be seen by her poems. Although these letters give more insight into her humour than perhaps her poetry does. Normall I don't read letters by eminent writters as I feel that letters no matter who wrote them are very private. On this ...more
Jim Asher
Jun 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very nice introduction to the life and letters of Emily Dickinson. Fragos notes in her introduction that Dickinson "found life startling and ecstatic and comical and terrible, often all at the same time. She lived in awe." Through the selected correspondences, readers will quickly realize that Dickinson's genius was not reserved for her poetry as lines from her letters (sorted here in ten categories) will suprise and astound and inspire awe. Plus, readers will learn why Dickinson was called "t ...more
Hannah
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american, letters
I've always loved Emily's poems, and reading her letters was a glorious way to see her from a different side. Unsurprisingly, she has quite a way with language, and a fantastic sense of humor, too. The edition I have is written by a contemporary of hers, so it is curated carefully to show a particular arc of Emily's life with narrative interspersed by this friend, but it whet my appetite to try to find a copy of the complete letters and read them all in full.
ZaRi
Sep 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: letter, women
"MR. HIGGINSON,--Are you too deeply occupied to say if my verse is alive?

The mind is so near itself it cannot see distinctly, and I have none to ask.

Should you think it breathed, and had you the leisure to tell me, I should feel quick gratitude.

If I make the mistake, that you dared to tell me would give me sincerer honor toward you.

I inclose my name, asking you, if you please, sir, to tell me what is true?

That you will not betray me it is needless to ask, since honor is its own pawn."
Just Hind
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Affection is like bread, unnoticed till we starve, and then we dream of it, and sing of it, and paint it, when every urchin in the street has more than he can eat. We turn not older with years, but newer every day"

I really love Emily Dickinson... I feel abandoned, because she died before I met her. She is my kindred spirit. I hope to read everything by her.

Tenderly your kindred spirit,
Hind
Jonathan
Emily's poems are delightful, but her letters give more insight into how her mind works. She is honest, timid at times and then fierce by turns. And, oh my, what a little minx she can be! And what a surprise to find that a lot of her poems were in her letters. Anybody who likes Emily's poems should get a copy of her letters. She is one of the few poets who get better with digging deeper.
Rebecca Lartigue
Jul 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Delightful and odd. Reading these excerpts from her correspondence, you get a sense of ED as a peculiar, intense, mischievous person who was quite attached to and engaged with her select loved ones and friends. I copied many of her turns of phrase into my reading journal to continue to chew on them.
Sara
Sep 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very quaint. Checked it out from the library. Not sure if I'll be able to finish it before it's due...which means I probably won't recheck it out. What does stand out as notable is her recurring comments about happiness. She didn't seem to believe she could be happy, or was surprised when she was. Interesting.
Sarah Holz


Generally, Emily's letters are lovely and give you glimpses into brain but never fully let you in. The edition I read was the one compiled by Mabel Loomis Todd and I could've done without her commentary, particularly since it was interspersed among the letters (I would have preferred it either at the beginning or/and the end of each chapter).
Fernanda
Nov 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading Emily's letters completed the picture of the sensible and sensitive person we know from the poems. They show it's not necessary to live an adventurous life in order to create the most exquisite poetry ever.... For me it was like making a new friend all over again.
Vilis
Feb 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Gandrīz katrā vēstulē ir prātu sašķiebjoša frāze, pat ja reizēm to blīvums šķiet drusku nomācošs. Jauki gan jebkurā gadījumā.
Sybille Norris
Jan 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the pictures she painted in verse.
Peer
Jan 17, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Only interesting for it's style. Some letters are written so smooth and with a rhythm that makes it nearly a poem.
Patrick
Fine, lapidary prose with much compassion and sly humor. But I wonder, did ED never get angry?
Jordan
Nov 14, 2010 marked it as unfinished  ·  review of another edition
left it at home for after semester ends. liked what I read.
Courtney McKenzie
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Alicia Pezzaniti
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Angela
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S
Sep 11, 2017 added it
What a giant mind she had....
Amélia
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May 07, 2016
r.c.s.
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Mark Babcock
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Oct 07, 2014
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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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