Emily Dickinson Books





Easton Press Emily Dickinson books:
Poems of Emily Dickinson - Library of Poetry - 1995
Poems of Emily Dickinson - 100 Greatest Books Ever Written - 2005


Franklin Library Emily Dickinson books:
Final Harvest - 100 Greatest Masterpieces of American Literature - 1984


Emily (Elizabeth) Dickinson, (1830-86), was an American poet, born in Amherst, Mass., and educated at Amherst Academy and at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. Her family had lived in New England for eight generations. Emily Dickinson was brought up in a severely religious, puritanical environment. At the age of twenty-three, after a high-spirited and active youth, Emily Dickinson suffered a romantic disappointment; withdrawing from society, she lived thereafter as a family recluse and spinster. Virtually her only contact with her friends took the form of a whimsical and epigrammatic letters.

Throughout the remainder of her life Emily Dickinson’s secretly wrote poetry of a profoundly original nature. The first contemporary literary figure to become aware of her existence as a poet was the American clergyman and author Thomas Wentworth Higginson, the editor of The Atlantic Monthly magazine. Although Higginson recognized her genius and became her lifelong correspondent and literary mentor, neither he nor her other literary friend, the American novelist Helen Hunt Jackson, could ever persuade her to publish a collection of her poetry. After Emily Dickinson’s death, more than twelve hundred of her poems were found among her papers. From this mass of material Higgenson later edited Poems (1890), the first published selection of her work. It enjoyed great popular and critical success.

Emily Dickinson is presently recognized as one of the greatest American poets. Her work is deeply personal and usually concerned with such universal themes as love, death and immortality. The imagery and metaphors she uses are drawn both from an acute observation of nature and from an imagination often as playful in thought and witty in expression as that of the English metaphysical poets of the 17th century, such as John Donne and George Herbert.

The thought in Emily Dickinson poems is compressed into brief stanza forms, which most frequently are written in a few different combinations of iambic tetrameter and trimeter lines. Emily Dickinson employs simple rhyme schemes and varies the effects by partial rhyming, although her language is simple also, she draws remarkable connotations from many common words, sometimes with almost pedantic exactness.

The combination of universal themes, expressed with vivid personal feeling, and familiar verse forms gives Emily Dickinson’s lyrics a mystical directness comparable to that found in the work of the British poet William Blake. In addition, Emily Dickinson’s poems revile a certain unique intimacy of feeling which probably can be traced to the seclusion of her life as a woman in 19th-century Protestant New England.







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