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Wonderful selection of this great poet's greatest, most popular poems. Includes "There's a certain slant of light," "Because I could not stop for death," "It was not death for I stood up." Wonderful selection of this great poet's greatest, most popular poems. Includes "There's a certain slant of light," "Because I could not stop for death," "It was not death for I stood up."


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Wonderful selection of this great poet's greatest, most popular poems. Includes "There's a certain slant of light," "Because I could not stop for death," "It was not death for I stood up." Wonderful selection of this great poet's greatest, most popular poems. Includes "There's a certain slant of light," "Because I could not stop for death," "It was not death for I stood up."

30 review for Selected Poems

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sean Barrs

    Emily Dickinson is one of my favourite poets; she is the gothic queen of poetry. At times she strongly reminds me of Edgar Allan Poe. Her poems are less macabre than Poe’s and certainly less fantastical, focusing more on human perception of the darkness and the realities of life, but her work is undoubtedly on par with his in the vein of dark romanticism. There’s just something exceedingly morose about the way in which she writes. She was terribly depressed for much of her life, and such a pessi Emily Dickinson is one of my favourite poets; she is the gothic queen of poetry. At times she strongly reminds me of Edgar Allan Poe. Her poems are less macabre than Poe’s and certainly less fantastical, focusing more on human perception of the darkness and the realities of life, but her work is undoubtedly on par with his in the vein of dark romanticism. There’s just something exceedingly morose about the way in which she writes. She was terribly depressed for much of her life, and such a pessimistic attitude to life can be seen within her writing. These are the words of a woman completely disillusion with the human experience; there is little light in these poems. Humans are portrayed as weak and self-destructive; they are at times evil and even hellish in nature. All depictions are typically one sided with the darkness conquering any sense of hope. If anything hope is dead within her words. There is only one thing we are striving for in life, and that’s the end according to such thinking. Death Read enough of Dickinson’s poetry and you will see how obsessed with death she is; it a recurring theme across her work, one she brings up time and time again. She spent most of her life in solitude so it’s no surprise that she came up with poetry so dark in content; she had a miserable life, and it reflects in the nature of her writing: "Because I could not stop for Death – He kindly stopped for me – The Carriage held but just Ourselves – And Immortality." The words feel calm and almost serene, as the speaker is accepting of her mortality. She establishes the idea that death is not a choice; it just happens like life just happens. So we should just sit back and enjoy the ride, as she does in Death’s carriage. It passes through the surrounding scenery at a slow pace and observes children playing near wide open fields. This is indicative of the fact that death will come for everyone: there’s no escaping it. The speaker is only half dressed, which suggest that nobody is truly ever ready for death; it comes when it will come never mind how unprepared you are. Death waits for no man. Death is personified as a gentleman here, one who will escort her to the afterlife. Death, to Dickinson, is not the end; it is the road to immortality: the beginning. Indeed, at the end of the poem she reveals she has actually been dead for centuries (shock-horror!) We’re left with the lingering image of dead horses perpetually pushing her forward into eternity. It’s a wonderful poem, dark and gripping, ethereal and enchanting. Of all of Dickinson’s poetry, this is the one that sticks with me. Years after I first read it, I still hear the opening lines. She also characterises God as a reckless and almost careless deity. He is not the ideal that many perceive him to be. At the moment of death he fumbles at your soul; you are not elevated or taken to heaven, but “stunned” and “scalped” in the process, then struck like a “thunderbolt.” God has paws which make him sound animalistic and beastlike; he is not kind and forgiving. Death is not the end, but it doesn’t have to be a glamourous experience. Indeed, in another poem the speaker is transfixed by the buzzing of a fly as she lies on her death bed. It’s the last thing she hears; it’s her last experience on earth. In this, it abandons all glorified religious imagery, and almost portrays an ironically realistic moment. She further hints that faith only works for those that are truly devout. If you don’t really believe in it, then calling upon God’s name is pointless. She suggests that those people should look to science for the answers rather than a false bastion they don’t really believe in. Dickinson is my idea of the perfect poet. She is a religious sceptic, but she is not dismissive of a possible truth in religion. Her poetry dances between opposing ideas and it doesn’t suggest truth in either of them; thus, it is open to interpretation and debate. It can be read in different ways and through this it is profound, powerful and utterly beautiful. I love her unique style, though she’s not one that’s going to leave you feeling uplifted after reading her work that's for sure.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    1 Because I could not stop for Cops They kindly Stopped for Me The Roadblocks covered all three lanes Perfect Symmetry 2 A narrow Fellow - in the grass With one eyed – snake – and smile You may have met him – did you not The local – paedo – phile 3 I heard a Boy-Band - when I died The Radio - was on And rushing so - to switch it Off And catching - my left Thumb And dancing round in - Painful Jig And - tripping on a clod Such - Banal invitation - to The Vestibule of God 4 Hope is a thing with feathers That perches in 1 Because I could not stop for Cops They kindly Stopped for Me The Roadblocks covered all three lanes Perfect Symmetry 2 A narrow Fellow - in the grass With one eyed – snake – and smile You may have met him – did you not The local – paedo – phile 3 I heard a Boy-Band - when I died The Radio - was on And rushing so - to switch it Off And catching - my left Thumb And dancing round in - Painful Jig And - tripping on a clod Such - Banal invitation - to The Vestibule of God 4 Hope is a thing with feathers That perches in my Bowl And pecks up all my Cereal Until it's drowned in milk 5 When the Landlord turned - the drunken Bee Out of - the Foxglove's door, They arrested him - for being "twee" And broke his - fingers four

  3. 5 out of 5

    Florencia

    There is no frigate like a book To take us lands away, Nor any coursers like a page Of prancing poetry. This traverse may the poorest take Without oppress of toll; How frugal is the chariot That bears a human soul! She described my needs with beauty and accuracy. That is all I need. A book. And coffee. And maybe something to eat. But mostly a book. Last weekend (weekends; the only time I can read like a maniac and write some things), I put on hold all my currently-reading books and dedicated There is no frigate like a book To take us lands away, Nor any coursers like a page Of prancing poetry. This traverse may the poorest take Without oppress of toll; How frugal is the chariot That bears a human soul! She described my needs with beauty and accuracy. That is all I need. A book. And coffee. And maybe something to eat. But mostly a book. Last weekend (weekends; the only time I can read like a maniac and write some things), I put on hold all my currently-reading books and dedicated myself to poetry. A GR friend mentioned Dickinson the other day and I remembered reading a couple of poems and a bit about her reclusive, haunted-by-death life. But I didn't know her, at all. Still, I am not sure I know her now. There are so many aspects to consider. If I had to choose one word to describe her, I couldn't; I would need hundreds of them. She contains multitudes, as another poet said. She seems so simple. But there is a beautiful, bittersweet complexity in her quietness. I found The Complete Poems and, to be honest, I was quite intimidated. So instead, I chose a "Selected Poems" collection. But I will definitely read that first one, entirely, someday. I only read its footnotes related to the poems I read. There are so many poems that I loved. And so many variations too. I am not going to discuss the fact that some of her poems were rewritten in order to fit the conventional rhyme of her time (atrocious). But I will mention that some of them were written in different ways by the poet herself. For example, this one that is now so close to my heart. Success is counted sweetest By those who ne’er succeed. To comprehend a nectar Requires sorest need. Not one of all the purple Host Who took the Flag to-day Can tell the definition, So clear of Victory As he defeated – dying – On whose forbidden ear The distant strains of triumph Burst agonized and clear! That poem was written in 1859. There is another one written in 1862. Although the text is the same, the structure is not. Plus, a dozen of dashes and her weird capitalization. Anyway, the poem is absolutely beautiful. Poignantly beautiful. There is a person who never succeeded, a loser, and Dickinson wisely tells us that he really understands the idea of success. The person who lacks something, clearly wants that something, he longs for it, and is able to get to know it so well because... he cannot touch it. He knows it better that the one who actually possesses it. In this case, success, victory. A poem I truly identify with. In conclusion, the loser acquired an unpleasant knowledge, one that stayed with him until his death. I remember a line of a song that I never listened to, saying that there is no worse nostalgia than to yearn for what never happened or never existed. An almost never-ending sorrow, a usually identifiable cause and an apparently nonexistent solution. Silver lining? You can't lose what you never had. (Worst “silver lining” ever). Another one: If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain; If I can ease one life the aching, Or cool one pain, Or help one fainting robin Unto his nest again, I shall not live in vain. A 1890 poem that seems to reflect Dickinson's kind nature. Inspiring verses that are trying to help us find some meaning in our lives. Something that can be found when we help others. I am not sure how helpful you can be while living inside your room and not even talking to people to their faces, but at least she wrote about it...? Her poetry might have been the best and maybe the only way she had to help others. It is quite a positive poem, considering Death is one of her most recurring themes. Just to name a few: "If I should die", "If I shouldn't be alive", "Death is like the insect", "Because I could not stop for Death" (one of her most well-known poems and the first one I've ever read). But I am not focusing on that theme. Enough has been said. I found other poems that are now stuck in my head. I'm Nobody! Who are you? Are you –Nobody – too? Then there's a pair of us! Dont tell! they'd advertise - you know! How dreary – to be – Somebody! How public – like a Frog – To tell one's name – the livelong June – To an admiring Bog! *** Much Madness is divinest Sense – To a discerning Eye – Much Sense - the starkest Madness – 'Tis the Majority In this, as All, prevail – Assent – and you are sane – Demur – you're straightaway dangerous – And handled with a Chain – *** I had no time to hate, because The grave would hinder me, And life was not so ample I Could finish enmity. That beckoned it away! Nor had I time to love; but since Some industry must be, The little toil of love, I thought, Was large enough for me. Dickinson captivated me. She gave me a new perspective on poetry. If I could describe all these feelings her work has created in me, I would feel such a huge relief; I can't, though. So I must borrow some of her words: "If I read a book [and] it makes my whole body so cold no fire ever can warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry." March 2, 2014? * Also on my blog.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Swaroop

    That Love is all there is, Is all we know of Love; It is enough, the freight should be Proportioned to the groove Deep, meaningful and thought provoking! - every line from this collection is worth reading more than once. This book can be titled 'The best of Emily Dickinson'. Each word, clearly, came from the heart. Emily Dickinson is, for all the right reasons, considered to be one of the greatest and most original poets of all time. How happy is the little Stone That rambles in the Road alone, And doe That Love is all there is, Is all we know of Love; It is enough, the freight should be Proportioned to the groove Deep, meaningful and thought provoking! - every line from this collection is worth reading more than once. This book can be titled 'The best of Emily Dickinson'. Each word, clearly, came from the heart. Emily Dickinson is, for all the right reasons, considered to be one of the greatest and most original poets of all time. How happy is the little Stone That rambles in the Road alone, And doesn't care about Careers And Exigencies never fears - Whose Coat of elemental Brown A passing Universe put on, And independent as the Sun Associates or glows alone, Fulfilling absolute Decree In casual simplicity - And Awe - was all we could feel

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    "If I can stop one Heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain If I can ease one Life the Aching, Or cool one Pain," That used to be the motto in my classroom some years back. We are a community of people populating the planet, and we cannot just look for our own pleasure and gain, we must look after each other as well to find true meaning in life. Emily Dickinson was one of the most quotable poets in Middle School in that respect. When we talked about the hopelessness of certain situations, we "If I can stop one Heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain If I can ease one Life the Aching, Or cool one Pain," That used to be the motto in my classroom some years back. We are a community of people populating the planet, and we cannot just look for our own pleasure and gain, we must look after each other as well to find true meaning in life. Emily Dickinson was one of the most quotable poets in Middle School in that respect. When we talked about the hopelessness of certain situations, we ended up talking about "hope, that thing with feathers". When we talked about human desire, fear and love, we read "Wild Nights, Wild Nights" and talked about the luxury of feeling connections beyond the ordinary. When we spoke about mainstream opinions and our own perception of reality, we dwelled for hours on my favourite poem in her collection: "Much Madness is divinest Sense — To a discerning Eye — Much Sense — the starkest Madness — 'Tis the Majority In this, as All, prevail — Assent — and you are sane — Demur — you're straightway dangerous — And handled with a Chain —" Assent and you are sane? Demut and be handled with a chain? I believe it is time to put this poem up as a reminder on classroom doors next to the call for compassion and love. Beware of mass opinions. The collective sanity is madness in disguise. Today I reread the whole Emily Dickinson collection in one sitting - which is a very strange thing to do, you feel inundated with words that are light as feathers and heavy as the world Atlas carried on his shoulders. But closing the book, hope is restored. There are words that soothe, even when they talk of loss: "I lost a world the other day. Has anybody found? You ’ll know it by the row of stars Around its forehead bound. A rich man might not notice it; Yet to my frugal eye Of more esteem than ducats. Oh, find it, sir, for me!" It is between the lines in Emily Dickinson's poems, if you look carefully!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Duane

    “A Book” There is no frigate like a book To take us lands away, Nor any coursers like a page Of prancing poetry. This traverse may be the poorest take Without oppress of toll; How frugal is the chariot That bears the human soul!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dolors

    “There is the mosaic, pictogram concentration of ideas into which she codes a volcanic elemental imagination, an apocalyptic vision; there is the tranced suspense and deliberation in her punctuation of dashes, and the riddling, oblique artistic strategies, the Shakespearian texture of the language, solid with metaphor, saturated with homeliest imagery and experience; and everywhere there is the teeming carnival of world-life” Introduction by Ted Hughes in Selected Poems by Emily Dickinson. I th “There is the mosaic, pictogram concentration of ideas into which she codes a volcanic elemental imagination, an apocalyptic vision; there is the tranced suspense and deliberation in her punctuation of dashes, and the riddling, oblique artistic strategies, the Shakespearian texture of the language, solid with metaphor, saturated with homeliest imagery and experience; and everywhere there is the teeming carnival of world-life” Introduction by Ted Hughes in Selected Poems by Emily Dickinson. I think of Emily Dickinson as some sort of romantic fantasy enfolded in willingness of eccentricity and desolation. I picture a petite woman always dressed in white with composed features who appears like a vision drawn straight from Dickens’ pages, maybe a new Miss Havisham abandoned at the altar by a lover that never existed but in her imagination, or a recluse in the attic like the deluded Bertha who was kept a secret in Jane Eyre. Maybe Emily Dickinson was, like some of her contemporaries hinted, "partially cracked" and writing was the only endeavor that could control her psychotic tendencies. “For Occupation – This-", for occupation, writing. Maybe no other poet has lived so much and so intensely in “A fairer House than Prose”, or secluded in a single room, “They shut me up in Prose-", where she couldn't breathe freely. So Emily Dickinson chooses to close the door of prose and opens the superior windows of poetry gaining access to an unknown universe where visitors belong to the symbolic world. She is not only visited by biblical personages but also by the ones created by Shakespeare, the most rebellious of romantic poets or by women who nurture her creativity and grant her some genealogy: George Eliot, Elizabeth Barrett Browning or the Brontë Sisters. Emily’s room becomes her own private ecosystem, which gives wings to her interior world, creating an enigmatic intimacy that is tied in Suffering and met repeatedly with Isolation. “This is my letter to the World That never wrote to Me” shouts out the poetess to the wind. The landscape presented is dense, bleak, excessive and decadent. Her poetry is both sublime and terrifying and explores the asphyxia of domesticity and the abyss of truth bathed in Gothic foreboding and sinister lyricism, faithful reminder of Edgar Allan Poe. “I like a look of Agony, Because I know it’s true-" 241 Deprivation and the pain of Absence blossom in verse to give form and matter to Loss, Fear and Death. Pulsating metaphors in disrupted syntax erupt in streams of dashes, which give ambivalent infinity to Emily’s belief to the poetic word being a hollow pearl and significance a mere chimera. If the word is the pearl, the Dickinsonian dash is the thread of silence, of separation, of endless pain that unites her deadly smooth verses in iridescent stanzas. “There is a pain – so utter – It swallows substance up -"599 From the depth of emptiness rumbles a voice that agonizes in loneliness and self-imposed resignation, creating an echo that materializes in myriad figures referred as an impenetrable Other, whose presence soaks Dickinson's poems. A masked Lover, the merciless Nature, a cruel God, the bodiless reader, all these “others” blend in perverse multiplicity in a phantasmagorical circus where jugglers play with gender, violence and passion, bonding Fervor with Horror and Death. “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!” 288 But there is also Love and Hope to be found amidst oppressive darkness. There is warm light emanating from the bulb where the trapped moth can seek refuge after the frosty windowpane. There is Love impregnated with indefinite feelings of loss and impossibility. And muffled Hope for lost souls locked within the Reader. “Hope is the thing with feathers – That perches in the soul –(…) Yet never, in Extremity, It asked a crumb – of Me.” 254 So We must meet apart – You there – I here – With just the Door ajar That Oceans are – and Prayer – And that White Sustenance – Despair –“ 640 “Tell all the Truth but tell it slant” advises Emily to the Reader when she turns a Chinese puzzle of mirrors around. If Nature is Emily’s Haunted house and word her Loaded Gun, Art becomes a paradoxical power that twists and bends when iron literality acquires Other meanings, dragging the reader towards a vertiginous edge where one can envision both the interior and the exterior in the fragile border that separates - and unites - the being and the non-being of our existence. Look at Emily's reflection and you will find yourself.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    First of all, my rating is for the poems themselves and not for this edition. It was very poorly done and I used it primarily as a guide for a group read, while finding the poems otherwise for actually reading. I would urge anyone who wishes to read Dickinson to seek out a much better edition than this one. Not every poem in this collection is one of Dickinson’s best, but each of them has something important to say to us, if we are open and listen. Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in th First of all, my rating is for the poems themselves and not for this edition. It was very poorly done and I used it primarily as a guide for a group read, while finding the poems otherwise for actually reading. I would urge anyone who wishes to read Dickinson to seek out a much better edition than this one. Not every poem in this collection is one of Dickinson’s best, but each of them has something important to say to us, if we are open and listen. Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul, is among my favorites. The idea of hope as a bird that sings endlessly in the soul and never asks for a crumb in return is so visual and so appealing. There’s a certain slant of light, On winter afternoons, That oppresses, like the weight Of cathedral tunes. This put me in mind of this painting by Monet, The Magpie, and the beauty of afternoon light on a snowy but desolate winter’s day. Marvelous imagery of a beautiful sunset, which could be appreciated at only that level, but there is the deeper meaning of the passage of a life and reaching the other side, with Christ as the shepherd there to lead “the flock away.” I'll tell you how the Sun rose - A Ribbon at a time - The Steeples swam in Amethyst - The news like Squirrels, ran - The Hills untied their Bonnets - The Bobolinks - begun - Then I said softly to myself - "That must have been the Sun"! But how he set - I know not - There seemed a purple stile That little Yellow boys and girls Were climbing all the while - Till when they reached the other side, A Dominie in Gray - Put gently up the evening Bars - And led the flock away - What makes her poetry so special is the way she tackles subjects that are familiar to every one of us, regardless of age or station in life. I also believe she has hit upon a basic truth, it takes much more than time to heal a true hurt. They say that ‘time assuages,’-- Time never did assuage; An actual suffering strengthens, As sinews do, with age. Time is a test of trouble, But not a remedy, If such it prove, it prove too There was no malady. Another long-time favorite. I have it on a sampler that I bought some forty years ago and have carried with me from home to home. I never saw a moor, I never saw the sea; Yet know I how the heather looks, And what a wave must be. I never spoke with God, Nor visited in heaven; Yet certain am I of the spot As if the chart were given. One more from this collection, because I thought of the day after my Mother was gone; the stillness in her room and the hushed buzz of voices in the kitchen. The bustle in a house The morning after death Is solemnest of industries Enacted upon earth,-- The sweeping up the heart, And putting love away We shall not want to use again Until eternity. I have read Emily Dickinson many times, but one cannot visit these poems too many times. They are as full and rich as many more complex and complicated verses. They are magic for their imagery, which brings to life the mind of this remarkable woman.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Edward

    An appreciation of Emily Dickinson's poetry is greatly improved by a familiarity with the enigma of her personal life. Who was this strange hermit, who produced such an abundance of poems - childlike, with nursery-rhyme cadence; wildly inconsistent - yet earnest and pure, and possessing a preternatural perceptiveness of the ways of the world? For this reason, the unexpected highlight of this edition is the detailed, colourful introduction by James Reeves, which is so good a biography and analysi An appreciation of Emily Dickinson's poetry is greatly improved by a familiarity with the enigma of her personal life. Who was this strange hermit, who produced such an abundance of poems - childlike, with nursery-rhyme cadence; wildly inconsistent - yet earnest and pure, and possessing a preternatural perceptiveness of the ways of the world? For this reason, the unexpected highlight of this edition is the detailed, colourful introduction by James Reeves, which is so good a biography and analysis of Emily Dickinson's life and works, that it competes with the collection it introduces. It is a perfect accompaniment. The introduction is around fifty pages, and the collection around one hundred, and so you may, as I did, alternate between the two, reading two pages of poetry for each page of introduction, and thus become immersed in the life of Emily Dickinson, as you are immersed in her words.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Brittney Andrews (beabookworm)

    EMILY DICKINSON: Although very little is known about her life, she is still by name alone, one of the most well-known American poets to have ever lived. All of Ms. Dickinson's poems have the ability to move, provoke and delight any reader; however, these two poems tugged at my heartstrings the most: The Soul's Storm. IT struck me every day The lightning was as new As if the cloud that instant slit And let the fire through. It burned me in the night, It blistered in my dream; It sickened, fresh upon m EMILY DICKINSON: Although very little is known about her life, she is still by name alone, one of the most well-known American poets to have ever lived. All of Ms. Dickinson's poems have the ability to move, provoke and delight any reader; however, these two poems tugged at my heartstrings the most: The Soul's Storm. IT struck me every day The lightning was as new As if the cloud that instant slit And let the fire through. It burned me in the night, It blistered in my dream; It sickened, fresh upon my sight With every morning's beam. I thought that storm was brief, -- The maddest, quickest by; But Nature lost the date of this, And left it in the sky. Parting. My life closed twice before its close; It yet remains to see If Immortality unveil A third event to me, So huge, so hopeless to conceive, As these that twice befell. Parting is all we know of heaven, And all we need of hell.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Magdalen

    We never know how high we are till we are called to rise; // Because that fearing is so long Had almost made it dear.

  12. 4 out of 5

    A

    This miniature book contains 65 selected poems written by Emily Dickinson between the years 1858 and 1865. Emily, an educated American woman from Amherst, Massachusetts lived an eccentric, reclusive life only anonymously publishing less than a dozen of the 1,175 poems she authored. The body of her work was discovered upon her death. The themes in this selection feature a deep sense of time, reflections on life, her surroundings, sorrow, spirit, a recurrent pondering of nature, mortality, occasion This miniature book contains 65 selected poems written by Emily Dickinson between the years 1858 and 1865. Emily, an educated American woman from Amherst, Massachusetts lived an eccentric, reclusive life only anonymously publishing less than a dozen of the 1,175 poems she authored. The body of her work was discovered upon her death. The themes in this selection feature a deep sense of time, reflections on life, her surroundings, sorrow, spirit, a recurrent pondering of nature, mortality, occasional reference to God and a thereafter, with a pervading undercurrent of proto-existentialism. Here's a few for your review, It makes no difference abroad The seasons--fit--the same-- The Mornings blossom into Noons-- And split their Pods of Flame-- Wild flowers--kindle--in the Woods-- The Brooks slam--all the Day-- No Black bird bates his Banjo-- For passing Calvary-- Auto da Fe--and Judgement-- Are nothing to the Bee-- His separation from His Rose-- To Him--sums Misery-- If all the Souls that stand create-- I have elected--One-- When Sense from Spirit--files away-- And Subterfuge--is done-- When that which is--and that which was-- Apart--intrinsic--stand-- And this brief Drama in the flesh-- Is shifted--like a Sand-- When Figures show their royal Front-- And Mists--are carved away, Behold the Atom--I preferred-- To all the lists of Clay! There is no frigate like a Book To take us Lands away Nor any Coursers like a Page Of prancing Poetry-- This Traverse may the poorest take Without oppress of Toll-- How frugal is the Chariot That bears the Human Soul. You cannot put a Fire out-- A Thing that can ignite Can go, itself, without a Fan-- Upon the slowest night--

  13. 4 out of 5

    Romie

    Rating poetry is so damn hard. There, I said it. Because I'm an English major, I studied Emily Dickinson, but too briefly to my taste, so I decided to buy this small collection of her poetry. Poetry is so personal, sometimes you like someone's style, sometimes you don't, but other times you can absolutely fall in love with a poem but not the next. That's what happened here. I still want to read more of her work, there is something to a poetry that keeps me coming back. 3.75 Rating poetry is so damn hard. There, I said it. Because I'm an English major, I studied Emily Dickinson, but too briefly to my taste, so I decided to buy this small collection of her poetry. Poetry is so personal, sometimes you like someone's style, sometimes you don't, but other times you can absolutely fall in love with a poem but not the next. That's what happened here. I still want to read more of her work, there is something to a poetry that keeps me coming back. 3.75

  14. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    One need not be a Chamber - to be Haunted One need not be a House - The Brain has Corridors - surpassing Material Place -

  15. 5 out of 5

    mwpm mwpm

    This volume of Dickinson's poetry is selected with an introduction by the poet Billy Collins. The introduction is standard, with Collins establishing biographical details and historical context. Which is interesting, but common knowledge to anyone who has read anything about Dickinson. What makes the introduction interesting is Collins's perspective on Dickinson's "letters to the world": his admiration for her use of metaphor, her figure of speech that he likens to "a kind of New England surreal This volume of Dickinson's poetry is selected with an introduction by the poet Billy Collins. The introduction is standard, with Collins establishing biographical details and historical context. Which is interesting, but common knowledge to anyone who has read anything about Dickinson. What makes the introduction interesting is Collins's perspective on Dickinson's "letters to the world": his admiration for her use of metaphor, her figure of speech that he likens to "a kind of New England surrealism", her politeness... It is fascinating to consider the case of a person who led such a private existence and whose poems remained unrecognized for so long after her death, as if she had lain asleep only to be awakened by the kiss of the twentieth century. (Emily Dickinson: An Introduction) The selection takes a thematic approach, dividing the poems into four parts: Life, Nature, Love, and Time and Eternity. The poems themselves aren't named, but numbered. Here are a few of my favourites (a selection from a selection)... If I can stop heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain; If I can ease one life the aching, Or cool one pain, Or help the fainting robin Unto his nest again, I shall not live in vain. - Life, VI I had no time to hate, because The grave would hinder me, And life was not so ample I Could finish enmity. Nor had I time to love; but since Some industry must be, The little toil of love, I thought, Was large enough for me. - Life, XXII It tossed and tossed, - A little brig I knew, - O'ertook by blast, It spun and spun, And groped delirious, for morn. It slipped and slipped, As one that drunken stepped; Its while foot tripped, Then dropped from sight. Ah, brig, good-night To crew and you; The ocean's heart too smooth, too blue, To break for you. - Life, LI Faith is a fine invention For gentlemen who see; But microscopes are prudent In an emergency! - Life, LVI Mine enemy is growing old, - I have at last revenge. The palate of the hate departs; If any would avenge, - Let him be quick, the viand flits, It is a faded meat. Anger as soon as fed is dead; 'T is starving makes it fat. - Life, LXVIII It's such a little thing to weep, So short a thing to sigh; And yet by trades the size of these We men and women die! - Life, XCI There is no frigate like a book To take us lands away, Nor any courses like a page Of prancing poetry. This traverse may the poorest take Without oppress of toll; How frugal is the chariot That bears a human soul! - Life, XCIX I felt a cleavage in my mind As if my brain had split; I tried to match it, seam by seam, But could not make them fit. The thought behind I strove to join Unto the thought before, But sequence ravelled out of reach Like balls upon a floor. - Life, CVI If recollecting were forgetting, Then I remember not; And if forgetting, recollecting, How near I had forgot! And if to miss were merry, And if to mourn were gay, How very blithe the fingers That gathered these to-day! - Life, CVIII Is bliss, then, such abyss I must not put my foot amiss For fear I spoil my shoe? I'd rather suit my foot Than save my boot, For yet to buy another pair Is possible At any fair. But bliss is sold just once; The patent lost None buy it any more. - Life, CXXXV Will there really be a morning? Is there such a thing as day? Could I see it from the mountains If I were as tall as they? Has it feet like water-lilies? Has it feathers like a bird? Is it brought from famous countries Of which I have never heard? Oh, some scholar! Oh, some sailor! Oh, some wise man from the skies! Please to tell a little pilgrim Where the place called morning lies! - Nature, II The murmur of a bee A witchcraft yieldeth me. If any ask me why, 'T were easier to die Than tell. The red upon the hill Taketh away my will; If anybody sneer, Take care, for God is here, That 's all. The breaking of the day Addeth to my degree; If any ask me how, Artist, who drew me so, Must tell! - Nature, LIV The grass so little has to do, - A sphere of simple green, With only butterflies to brood, And bees to entertain... - Nature, LX A drop fell on the apple tree Another on the roof; A half a dozen kissed the eaves, And made the gables laugh.... - Nature, LXII I'll tell you how the sun rose, - A ribbon at a time. The steeples swam in amethyst, The news like squirrels ran. The hills untied their bonnets, The bobolinks begun. Then I said softly to myself, "That must have been the sun!" - Nature, LXXIII Dear March, come in! How glad I am! I looked for you before. Put down your hat - You must have walked - How out of breath you are! Dear March, how are you? And the rest? Did you leave Nature well? Oh, March, come right upstairs with me, I have so much to tell!... - Nature, LXXXVII To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, - One clover, and a bee, And revery. The revery alone will do If bees are few. - Nature, XCVII If you were coming in the fall, I'd brush the summer by With half a smile and half a spurn, As housewives do a fly.... - Love, VI 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. - Love, VII Wild nights! Wild nights! Were I with thee, Wild nights should be Our luxury! Futile the winds To a heart in port, - Done with the compass, Done with the chart. Rowing in Eden! Ah! the sea! Might I but moor To-night in thee! - Love, XXV Exultation is the going Of an inland soul to sea, - Past the houses, past the headlands, Into deep eternity! Bred as we, among the mountains, Can the sailor understand The divine intoxication Of the first league out from land? - Time and Eternity, VII I died for beauty, but was scarce Adjusted in the tomb, When one who died for truth was lain In an adjoining room. He questioned softly why I failed? "For beauty," I replied. "And I for truth, - the two are one; We brethren are," he said. And so, as kinsmen met a night, We talked between the rooms, Until the moss had reached our lips, And covered up our names. - Time and Eternity, X The clouds their backs together laid, The north begun to push, The forests galloped till they fell, The lightning skipped like mice; The thunder crumbled like a stuff - How good to be safe in tombs, Where nature's temper cannot reach, Nor vengeance ever comes! - Time and Eternity, XVI I reason, earth is short, And anguish absolute. And many hurt; But what of that? I reason, we could die: The best vitality Cannot excel decay; But what of that? I reason that in heaven Somehow, it will be even, Some new equation given; But what of that? - Time and Eternity, XXIII I lost a world the other day. Had anybody found? You'll know it by the row of stars Around its forehead bound. A rich man might not notice it; Yet to my frugal eye Of more esteem that ducats. Oh, find it, sir, for me! - Time and Eternity, XXXVI

  16. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    2016: I loved this. I love short poems and Emily - we're on a first name basis - is queen of the short form. I adored more than half the poems in this 100 poem collection. I'm pretty sure Emily and I would have gotten along, especially ten years ago when I was a goth and writing poetry every day! 2020: I love the themes Dickinson explores, including nature, death, grief and thought. I also love the short length of the poems and their fairly simple language. It gives me just enough to casually ana 2016: I loved this. I love short poems and Emily - we're on a first name basis - is queen of the short form. I adored more than half the poems in this 100 poem collection. I'm pretty sure Emily and I would have gotten along, especially ten years ago when I was a goth and writing poetry every day! 2020: I love the themes Dickinson explores, including nature, death, grief and thought. I also love the short length of the poems and their fairly simple language. It gives me just enough to casually analyze.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ana

    If melancholy, longing and quiet passion are your game, Emily Dickinson is your girl.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jonfaith

    It dropped so low in my regard I heard it hit the ground, And go to pieces on the stones At bottom of my mind Consider me dazzled, kept. I am content. It is a very slow holiday week and dread may be lifting. Democracy might still matter and there are vaccines on the horizons. My copy is handsome, a delight to hold. Into such I burrowed (and did so bold). There is no Frigate like a Book To take us Lands away Nor any Coursers like a Page Of prancing Poetry – This Traverse may the poorest take Without oppre It dropped so low in my regard I heard it hit the ground, And go to pieces on the stones At bottom of my mind Consider me dazzled, kept. I am content. It is a very slow holiday week and dread may be lifting. Democracy might still matter and there are vaccines on the horizons. My copy is handsome, a delight to hold. Into such I burrowed (and did so bold). There is no Frigate like a Book To take us Lands away Nor any Coursers like a Page Of prancing Poetry – This Traverse may the poorest take Without oppress of Toll – How frugal is the Chariot That bears a Human soul. We revere our gratitude later in the week in this country. It is a tradition. We also celebrate what might pass for gluttony to demonstrate our celestial favor. As to these poems I am likewise guilty. I crammed them into my maw and reread with abandon. Does the natural world experience relish? There might be a philosophical discord in imagining how the feral savor? I don't believe the appellation is necessarily exclusive. The blithe reader will find much to contemplate here, despite the avian and apiarian excess.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sue K H

    I liked these poems quite a bit,  but they didn't affect me as deeply as those of Edgar Allan Poe or Oscar Wilde.  I must prefer my poetry dark and brooding?  I don't know, because I'm still new to it.   These are mostly hopeful or joyful.  Some may lean towards being nostalgic or wistful but they never reached the point of being moody or somber, even one of my favorites called "Griefs" about grief.  Another favorite was "Returning" which was nostalgic, about returning home, but it still didn't I liked these poems quite a bit,  but they didn't affect me as deeply as those of Edgar Allan Poe or Oscar Wilde.  I must prefer my poetry dark and brooding?  I don't know, because I'm still new to it.   These are mostly hopeful or joyful.  Some may lean towards being nostalgic or wistful but they never reached the point of being moody or somber, even one of my favorites called "Griefs" about grief.  Another favorite was "Returning" which was nostalgic, about returning home, but it still didn't have that burning, it was more playful.       I had a beef with this Kindle edition because it used titles for some poems and not others (from my understanding, none had titles originally).  It made some of the poems confusing.  There was a little squiggly line sometimes but some seemed to still be part of the poem before it while others didn't.  I checked the first line index in the back for some I thought didn't fit and their first lines were in the index so I believe they were separate poems, but they weren't separated in the index.   I don't know enough about poetry or her poetry to really know.  In any event, they were separate poems to me.  Of this type, my favorites include:      If I can stop one heart from breaking;      They say that 'time assuages';      I'm nobody! Who are you?;     This is my letter to the world;      I had no time to hate because;    Delight becomes pictorial; and      I never saw a moor.    Some of my other favorites not previously mentioned:      Compensation - For each ecstatic instant;      The Lost Jewel - I held a jewel in my fingers;      Hope - Hope is the thing with feathers;      The Wind's Visit - The wind tapped like a tired man;      The Chariot - Because I could not stop for Death ;      Experience - I stepped from plank to plank; and      A Book - There is no frigate like a book With that many favorites.  I better make it 4.5  stars.   

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jayde

    "Parting is all we know of heaven, and all we need of hell". A few good quotes but mostly mediocre. I found there to be too many poems about God and religion. "Parting is all we know of heaven, and all we need of hell". A few good quotes but mostly mediocre. I found there to be too many poems about God and religion.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Marie Tankersley

    Emily Dickinson loved her slant rhymes, and she used them beautifully. She definitely had a knack for painting a picture through words, even in these short poems. Loved it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kris

    Death. Darkness. Trees and wind. Cold. Loneliness. Nature. Sparrows and Robins. Keepsakes. Ribbons. A breath in time. Midnight. Hurt and heaven. Flies and blue bottles. Loss and grief. “Hope is the thing with feathers." A tiny little pocketbook of poems. While Poe’s “Raven” is my favorite poem, Dickinson has always remained my favorite poet. Death. Darkness. Trees and wind. Cold. Loneliness. Nature. Sparrows and Robins. Keepsakes. Ribbons. A breath in time. Midnight. Hurt and heaven. Flies and blue bottles. Loss and grief. “Hope is the thing with feathers." A tiny little pocketbook of poems. While Poe’s “Raven” is my favorite poem, Dickinson has always remained my favorite poet.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kayla

    I only picked this up way way back in November because I loved the show Dickinson so much. Obviously the poems are great but I wish I took a class focused on her poetry so I could understand them better.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sheila

    My first reading of Emily Dickinson is not actually in this collection selected by Ted Hughes. They were love poems called Wild Nights! Wild Nights! and I cannot live with you. I knew then that this poet is going to be one of my favorites. The imagery she paints is just too unique and original that reading them over and over again can produce different meanings for the reader. In this collection, Ted Hughes, also a notable poet, not least because he was married to Sylvia Plath, selected 40-plus My first reading of Emily Dickinson is not actually in this collection selected by Ted Hughes. They were love poems called Wild Nights! Wild Nights! and I cannot live with you. I knew then that this poet is going to be one of my favorites. The imagery she paints is just too unique and original that reading them over and over again can produce different meanings for the reader. In this collection, Ted Hughes, also a notable poet, not least because he was married to Sylvia Plath, selected 40-plus pages of Emily's poems, the ones he liked best out of 1775 that she wrote. One of my favorites is this verse about Truth and Beauty: I died for beauty-but was scarce Adjusted in the tomb When One who died for Truth, was lain In an Adjoining Room- He questioned softly 'Why I failed?' 'For Beauty' I replied - 'And I - for Truth - Themself are One- 'We Brethren are,' He said- And so, as Kinsmen, met a Night- We talked between the Rooms- Until the moss had reached our lips and covered up- our names- The dash in Emily's poems are all hers. Hughes recounts in the introduction that it used to be edited heavily, substituted with commas and semicolons until some critics pointed out that the dashes are part of her method and style. So soon after the poems were re-edited and published in their original forms. One of the famous poems about love is also in this selection: That Love is all there is Is all we know of Love; It is enough, the freight should be Proportioned to the groove. I liked this one because of the use of the word freight, which is unusual in describing the weight and intensity of the act of love and groove, which, though not unheard of, is again, another unique way of talking about the act. Other poems made me smile: I fear a Man of frugal Speech— I fear a Silent Man— Haranguer—I can overtake— Or Babbler—entertain— But He who weigheth—While the Rest— Expend their furthest pound— Of this Man—I am wary— I fear that He is Grand— And still others are just unforgettable: The heart asks pleasure first And then, excuse from pain- And then, those little anodynes That deaden suffering; And then, to go to sleep; And then, if it should be The will of its Inquisitor, The liberty to die. I will never get tired of reading Emily's poems. Her selection of words and their arrangements is a gift to any reader who could use some fresh inspiration. Highly recommended to new readers of poems.

  25. 4 out of 5

    ➸ Gwen de Sade

    I especially love the one that sounds like a rap: The Wind didn't come from the Orchard — today — Further than that — Nor stop to play with the Hay — Nor threaten a Hat — He's a transitive fellow — very — Rely on that — If He leave a Bur at the door We know He has climbed a Fir — But the Fir is Where — Declare — Were you ever there? If He brings Odors of Clovers — And that is His business — not Ours — Then He has been with the Mowers — Whetting away the Hours To sweet pauses of Hay — His Way — of a June Day — If I especially love the one that sounds like a rap: The Wind didn't come from the Orchard — today — Further than that — Nor stop to play with the Hay — Nor threaten a Hat — He's a transitive fellow — very — Rely on that — If He leave a Bur at the door We know He has climbed a Fir — But the Fir is Where — Declare — Were you ever there? If He brings Odors of Clovers — And that is His business — not Ours — Then He has been with the Mowers — Whetting away the Hours To sweet pauses of Hay — His Way — of a June Day — If He fling Sand, and Pebble — Little Boys Hats — and Stubble — With an occasional Steeple — And a hoarse "Get out of the way, I say," Who'd be the fool to stay? Would you — Say — Would you be the fool to stay?

  26. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    I can’t decide between two or three stars for this one. I guess this isn’t really my kind of poetry, but I don’t really read a lot of poetry in the first place. Some of the poems I didn’t have the energy to interpret, others came easier, and a couple amused me. The cover was my favorite part because it’s so beautiful. 😆

  27. 5 out of 5

    Marian

    I died for beauty, but was scarce Adjusted in the tomb, When one who died for truth was lain In an adjoining room. He questioned softly why I failed? "For beauty," I replied. "And I for truth,--the two are one; We brethren are," he said. And so, as kinsmen met a night, We talked between the rooms. Until the moss had reached our lips, And covered up our names. I died for beauty, but was scarce Adjusted in the tomb, When one who died for truth was lain In an adjoining room. He questioned softly why I failed? "For beauty," I replied. "And I for truth,--the two are one; We brethren are," he said. And so, as kinsmen met a night, We talked between the rooms. Until the moss had reached our lips, And covered up our names.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gill

    3.5 stars I'm pleased that I read this edition. At last, I have a bit of an understanding of Emily Dickinson's poetry. This edition has a very clear introduction, which puts her into context. It also explains a bit about why capital letters and dashes, including sometimes using a – at the end of a poem, are used by her in her poetry. In addition to containing a variety of her poems, arranged by poem number, it also has a complete fascicle, as she called it, fascicle number 17. My favourite poem o 3.5 stars I'm pleased that I read this edition. At last, I have a bit of an understanding of Emily Dickinson's poetry. This edition has a very clear introduction, which puts her into context. It also explains a bit about why capital letters and dashes, including sometimes using a – at the end of a poem, are used by her in her poetry. In addition to containing a variety of her poems, arranged by poem number, it also has a complete fascicle, as she called it, fascicle number 17. My favourite poem of all is number 511. You'll need to look this up if you want to see the content of it! Extra things that I've learned are how much Dickinson admired George Eliot and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and also where various book titles used by other people have come from i.e. her poems. E.g. "Hope is the thing with feathers", adapted as Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter and "Started early took my dog"Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kadidja May

    I love poetry, though I wonder sometimes whether I love the idea of poetry more than the thing itself. Of course that's not entirely true because give me a deep poem and I will always admire you (and maybe fall a little bit in love, too). Still. I don't read it often. I say this because I don't feel qualified to rate this selection. I read somewhere that for those who read/love/know Dickinson, the lack of her characteristic punctuation and capitalisation is a drawback in this edition. Understanda I love poetry, though I wonder sometimes whether I love the idea of poetry more than the thing itself. Of course that's not entirely true because give me a deep poem and I will always admire you (and maybe fall a little bit in love, too). Still. I don't read it often. I say this because I don't feel qualified to rate this selection. I read somewhere that for those who read/love/know Dickinson, the lack of her characteristic punctuation and capitalisation is a drawback in this edition. Understandably. I'd love to read that someday. Still, I find the short length (66 pages) a good introduction to her. Read the poems slowly, carefully, savour them in bits and pieces, in meaning and in sound. I certainly found a few gems. Some (of several) favourite passages: It's all I have to bring to-day, This, and my heart beside, This, and my heart, and all the fields, And all the meadows wide; *** A book I have, a friend gave, Whose pencil, here and there, Had notched the place that pleased him,– At rest his fingers are. *** The heart asks pleasure first, And then, excuse from pain; *** He questioned softly why I failed? "For beauty," I replied, "And I for truth,–the two are one; We brethren are," he said.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Annie ⚜️

    It makes me sad but I don’t think I’ll ever truly “get” poetry, most especially not Dickinson. At times, I felt like you could treat her poems like Mad Libs and just insert random nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc in place of other words for as much sense as any of this makes to me. Furthermore, doom and gloom much? That being said, the preface and afterword by a Cornell University professor were still a pleasure to read.

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