Among the greatest of American poets, Emily Dickinson's work stands the test of time as some of the most beautiful, elegant, insightful, and influential poetry the world has ever seen. Simply put, American literature would not be where it is today without Dickinson's exquisite words.
Volume 1 contains the collection of poems first published in 1890 (four years after her death). These poems include:
- "Success is counted sweetest..."
- "Alter? When the hills do..."
- "Pink, small, and punctual..."
- "Because I could not stop for Death..."
...and well over a hundred more.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Good, but the "New Critics" versions of the poems
This is an excellently-constructed edition of Dickinson's works, but there is one important caveat: these are the edited, "dumbed-down" versions of the poems created by the New Critics during the mid-twentieth century. To make Dickinson's works conform with their ideas of literary canon, they heavily edited her poetry, removing most of her idiosyncratic punctuation conventions, and at times deleting lines or even whole stanzas that were inconvenient to the literary interpretations they had decided to impose on the poems.
If you've ever read "Final Harvest," a recent edition that restores the material that had been expurgated, you'll know how bloodless the abridged versions of Dickinson's poems are by comparison. The versions in this book aren't going to satisfy scholars or connoisseurs of her work, but they'll do nicely for casual readers and older readers who only ever experienced the New Critics versions, and are perfectly fine continuing to read them the way they have always known them.
The publishers have done a very nice job assembling this edition (although their table of contents really needs to be reworked to let readers find specific poems) and it's hardly their fault that the out-of-copyright material is problematic. You're still definitely getting a lot more than you paid for.