Interest in Emily Dickinson has grown throughout the years until, now, in this three-volume edition Thomas Johnson presents the entire body of poems she is known to have written, 1775 in all. Here are the familiar “I never saw a Moor” and “Because I could not stop for Death,” along with other less well-known poems, including forty-three never before published. Casual notes to friends and relatives which frequently accompany scraps of verse help to reveal the poet's enigmatic character. After keen analysis of the manuscripts, Johnson has arranged the poems in what is believed to be their chronological order, with variations and rejected versions of each poem following.
In his introduction, the editor discusses the stylistic and historical development of the poetic art of Emily Dickinson, and he considers the manuscripts and the history of the editing of the poems. A careful study of the poet's handwriting is illustrated with several facsimiles. The appendix contains valuable material on the recipients of the poems as well as a subject index and an index of first lines.
Thomas H. Johnson and the Belknap Press of the Harvard University Press have brought out in three big volumes, noted, chronologically arranged, and accurate to the last variant, misspelling, and grammatical error, The Poems of Emily Dickinson… This is, truly, a marvelous book: the reader finishes speechless, and laughing, and shaking his head in helpless wonder… All the absolutes and intensives and eccentricities of an absolutely intense eccentric have passed over him like a train of avalanches, and left him a couple of hundred feet deep in Knowledge… [Dickinson’s] poetry is the diary or autobiography—though few diaries or autobiographies compare with it for intentional and, especially, unintentional truth—of an acute psychologist, a wonderful rhetorician, and one of the most individual writers who ever lived, one of those best able to express experience at its most nearly absolute.
A scholarly miracle… [This work], in three volumes, includes ‘variant readings critically compared with all known manuscripts’… [The editor] has brought sympathy and insight to bear in an illuminating way on several major Dickinsonian enigmas… The work comprises seventeen hundred and seventy-five poems, of which forty-one are known to be unpublished, in whole or in part.
The appearance of Thomas H. Johnson’s three-volume compilation of ‘The Poems of Emily Dickinson,’ the first authentic and really Complete Poems, is a major publishing event. A carefully collated and scholarly text has been awaited, demanded, and needed for years. The present publication is a cumulative response to that demand. It is far more than an important revision; it is a rediscovery.
- 1266 pages
- Belknap Press
From this author
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