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The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  88,729 ratings  ·  1,288 reviews

Only eleven of Emily Dickinson’s poems were published prior to her death in 1886; the startling originality of her work doomed it to obscurity in her lifetime. Early posthumously published collections-some of them featuring liberally “edited” versions of the poems-did not fully and accurately repres
Paperback, 716 pages
Published January 30th 1976 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 1890)
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Gabriel Horvath Distillation here means that all the alternate versions are gone. As Dickinson published very little of her work in her lifetime and seemed to enjoy r…moreDistillation here means that all the alternate versions are gone. As Dickinson published very little of her work in her lifetime and seemed to enjoy revision, often, there are several different versions of poems, each as apparently "final" as another. The editor here chose a single version of each poem, and did not include footnotes to point to possible alternative writings/readings, in order to winnow the text down to a readable size.(less)
Hagar Abdelrhim there's last button call Download excerpt . it'll be e-book on your computer :)…morethere's last button call Download excerpt . it'll be e-book on your computer :)(less)

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Oct 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Because she is so freaking good--
As good--as she can be--
She makes me want--to scream--and shout--
And set my poor heart free--

Because I cannot live without--
Her rhythm--and her rhyme--
I keep this poet close at hand
And only ask--for time.
Taylor Jenkins Reid
If, like me, you’ve become mildly obsessed with the wild and transcendent Dickinson on Apple, then you probably have already grasped just how large the idea of fame looms over Emily’s life. The show isn’t historically accurate (which is what helps it so shine so brightly, in my opinion) but it is an excellent introduction to her poems. “Fame is a bee,” among others, deals with the complexity of fame—a theme I seem to be addicted to in my own work as well.
Paul Bryant
Dec 06, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
I felt a sneeze - as big as God
Form in - back of - my Nose
Yet being - without - a Handkerchief
I Panicked quite - and froze
Sneeze I must - yet sneeze - must not
Dilemma - made - me grieve
Happy then - a single Bee
Saw me - use - my sleeve

Well all right, I did not read every one of the 25,678 but certainly a fair number. You know when she died they found she'd stuffed poems everywhere in her house, up the chimney, down her knickers, tied in little "packets" onto her dogs' hindquarters, someone cut a
when i get around to reading this, i will transcend all known limits of humanity and finally become the most insufferable person in history
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, american
When I hoped, I feared
Since I hoped, I dared!

I realized for a moment with a great sense of sadness that from now on, whenever I decide to read a famous poet for the first time, I must keep myself free from any prejudice and presumption. I had heard that she was regarded as a transcendentalist as far as the major themes in her poems were concerned. I do not know, from where I got this notion, I probably learned it from some of the early articles, I read about her poems somewhere. How authentic w
Sep 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Book Review
I love Emily Dickinson's poetry. I recently went to a museum exhibit dedicated to her and fell in love again with one of her poems, which I'll dissect below:

Critics of Emily Dickinson’s poem number 328, commonly titled “A Bird Came Down the Walk,” have several different interpretations of the poem. Most critics believe that the poem is a “conventional symbolic account of Christian encounter within the world of nature…” (Budick 218). Although several critics take a religi
This is a huge volume of poetry and probably not meant to be read straight through, but that's what I did. Some of them I didn't like or understand, but there were many that I thought were beautiful and perfectly suited to my feelings. I think that's the way with most poets and their readers. After reading, I was left in wonder about this strange and reclusive woman who saw only a handful of her poems published before her death. She never knew she would be a success, never knew her poems would b ...more
Jack Edwards
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Emily Dickinson's poetry is stunningly existential and her story is equally fascinating. Such a great collection to dip in and out of, and no-one writes a striking opening line quite like her. ...more
Jun 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: american-lit
See the Dickinson documentary A Loaded Gun for my take on this writer, arguably the best poet in
English. (I play the villain in that film directed by James Wolpaw.) I have given reading-whistlings of ED's bird poems*, from memory of course, in the garden of the Dickinson Manse in Amherst, and I have recited an hour of Dickinson on several occasions (from memory). In fact, Dickinson is fairly easy to memorize--a hallmark of fine verse. Perhaps only Yeats' tetrametric "Under Ben Bulben" is easier
Sep 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all women and poetry readers
Emily Dickinson's poems convinced me, at an early age of 9 or 10, to become a writer myself. I discovered her poems from the obsolete American textbooks my mother got from the collection in our school library. On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, when it was too hot to play outside and children were forced to take afternoon siestas, I'd end up reading her poems and imagined the person, that woman, with whom I shared similar thoughts. My favorite poem remains to this day:

I'm nobody! Who are you?
E. G.
Sep 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


Previous Collections
Subject Index
Index of First Lines
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Sweet skepticism of the Heart-
That knows - and does not know-

Sometimes there is only one place to go: within, where the mind and body communicate poetically. Those poets of her time, they stayed securely snuggled into their worlds, while she traversed the unbeaten paths around them, creating abstract spaces made tangible through musicality. They stayed within their conformed art and hers elevated both the physical and mental, while she wrote from a house they deemed her prison, but one that wou
They shut me up in Prose —
As when a little Girl
They put me in the Closet —
Because they liked me “still” —

Still! Could themself have peeped —
And seen my Brain — go round —
They might as wise have lodged a Bird
For Treason — in the Pound —

Himself has but to will
And easy as a Star
Abolish his Captivity —
And laugh — No more have I —
I recently ran across an argument against eBooks that went along the lines of suspicions of censorship, commenting on how easy it would be for publishers and the like to
JV (semi-hiatus)
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, 2018, poetry
Sigh... I just experienced poetic gut punches from Emily herself. From this collection alone, there's a total of 1,775 poems. Blimey! A huge compilation if you ask me! Honestly, I didn't read every poem, because that would probably result in me having a mushy brain (poor noodle!). I just skimmed through a lot of them and just selected those that are meaningful to me. Her poems are oftentimes cryptic in nature (which made me scratch my head), but there are those that connect quite well with me. M ...more
Mar 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
“I taste a liquor never brewed” by Emily Dickinson
I taste a liquor never brewed –
From Tankards scooped in Pearl –
Not all the Vats upon the Rhine
Yield such an Alcohol!

Inebriate of air – am I –
And Debauchee of Dew –
Reeling – thro' endless summer days –
From inns of molten Blue –

When "Landlords" turn the drunken Bee
Out of the Foxglove's door –
When Butterflies – renounce their "drams" –
I shall but drink the more!

Till Seraphs swing their snowy Hats –
And Saints – to windows run –
To see the little Tippl
Jan 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Emily Dickinson articulates my own thoughts and feelings in a way I never could. She manifests my ideal. She validates my existence. If you like Emily, I like you.

I hide myself within my flower,
That wearing on your breast,
You, unsuspecting, wear me too—
And angels know the rest.

I hide myself within my flower,
That, fading from your vase,
You, unsuspecting, feel for me
Almost a loneliness.
" Why do I love You, Sir ?


The wind does not require the Grass

To answer - Wherefore when He pass

She cannot keep Her place .

Because He knows - and

Do not you -

And we know not -

Enough for Us

The wisdom it be so -

The Lightning - never asked an Eye

Wherefore it shut - when He was by -

Because He knows it cannot speak -

And reasons not contained -

Of Talk -

There be - preferred by Daintier Folk -

The Sunrise - Sire - compelleth me

Because He's Sunrise - and I see -

Therefore - Then -
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
This book boasts a fabulous collection of work's by Emily Dickinson. Admittedly, I didn't enjoy all of them, hence the four stars given, but the majority of the poem's were beautifully written, as well as being rather thought provoking.

"He fumbles at your spirit
As players at the keys
Before they drop full music on;
He stuns you by degrees,
Prepares your brittle substance
For the ethereal blow,
By fainter hammers, further heard,
Then nearer, then so slow
Your breath has time to straighten.
4 stars

After reading through most of these poems, Emily remains one of my top favorite poets. However, I also came across many poems that I felt no connection with and frankly made no sense to me. So with that in mind, I unfortunately couldn't give this 5 stars. Still a great experience though!

I highly recommend this book if you're a fan of poetry and/or Emily Dickinson.
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Twas such a little, little boat
That toddled down the bay!
‘T was such a gallant, gallant sea
That beckoned it away!

‘T was such a greedy, greedy wave
That licked it from the coast;
Nor ever guessed the stately sails
My little craft was lost!<\b>

Or this one,

The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
“The berry’s cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.

The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I’ll put a trinket on.<\b>

Immeasurable and pr
Aug 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I love Dickinson. More specifically, I love the sense of balance I feel when reading any of her poems. Her poetry has light within its overwhelming darkness; it is straightforward yet subtle. Its originality is sometimes even startling. I have learned so much in reading her work but the most powerful of lessons I take from Dickinson is to "Tell all the truth but tell it slant... The Truth must dazzle gradually/ Or every man be blind." ...more
Apr 12, 2020 marked it as on-hold  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Florencia by: Buddy read
Shelves: poetry

I have a Bird in spring
Which for myself doth sing —
The spring decoys.
And as the summer nears —
And as the Rose appears,
Robin is gone.

Yet do I not repine
Knowing that Bird of mine
Though flown —
Learneth beyond the sea
Melody new for me
And will return.

Fast in safer hand
Held in a truer Land
Are mine —
And though they now depart,
Tell I my doubting heart
They're thine.

In a serener Bright,
In a more golden light
I see
Each little doubt and fear,
Each little discord here

Then will I not repine,
Knowing tha
Jennie Rogers
I will be returning to Dickinson's poetry frequently, "my perennial nest" ...more
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first time I consciously had contact with Emily Dickinson's poetry was when author and illustrator Chris Riddell posted one of his beautiful sketches on facebook decorating one of her poems. After that I knew I had to have a collection of her works.

Then I discovered the World Cloud Classics and it was the perfect edition in my opinion (this being the 3rd I have now).

I must say that I love poetry, always have, and although I don't always favour the kind of analysis being done in school (we al
J.M. Hushour
Jul 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Running upwards of 1,700 poems, there's no conceivable way I could read them all. I settled for maybe half. That's not to say I'm not tempted to read them all, but Dickinson is one of those fine poets who begin to run a little stale after the first 200 or so poems. Best to step off and return to it later.
Don't get me wrong, her innovative poetics is almost ghastly in its profundity, so much so that people use words like 'profundity' or say that she, who had no powers of prescience that her biogr
The pages hold beauty, truth and a sly kind of humor...
Jerrie (redwritinghood)
Dickinson wrote A LOT of poems - there are 1775 in this collection. This collection is comprehensive and well organized. Many of her early poems are very girly things about flowers and bees, but you can see her mature as both a person and a poet as you progress through the collection. Like any artist, there is a lot of so-so stuff here, a lot of pretty good, and a few amazing.

I've read a fair bit of her poetry 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 vision, her way of seeing, her developing a highly idiosyncratic personal language that is informed by previous poetic tradition but that resolutely bends the note and pushes it forward. "Making it new" before it was cool, before they even had a name for it. I'm actually kind of hesitant to read more of her because I
May 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Poetry lovers
I would highly, highly recommend strolling through Dickinson's collected verse. She's a (surprisingly) highly underrated poet. Going deep into her entire collection will unearth unknown gems as well as old favorites. This edition, organized chronologically, allows the opportunity to study her growth as a poet and explore her obsessions over time. It also provides the date of first publication (if there was one). A must-have for any poetry enthusiast, highly recommended for those who have a modes ...more
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"I found the words to every thought
I ever had - but One -
And that - defies Me -
As a Hand did try to chalk the Sun

To Races - nurtured in the Dark -
How would your Own - begin?
Can Blaze be shown in Cochineal -
Or Noon - in Mazarin?"
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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

Articles featuring this book

Every month is a good month to appreciate poetry, but in April it's an official thing. Founded in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets,...
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“Not knowing when the dawn will come
I open every door.”
“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.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!”
More quotes…