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Sassy, short poems with big ideas
on 20 August 2004
So... I know my title sounds like a description of a twenty-first century poet. I would never usually apply the word 'sassy' to writing so old. However, Emily is timeless. My friends and I, who studied her avidly for A Level, can imagine her hiding away in a big house somewhere even today, looking at the world through her bitingly cynical eyes. The poetry is very very difficult, and thus, extremely rewarding. I liken it to problem solving - on first reading one of the poems, usually with a maximum of 6 stanzas, you think you'll never understand it. There are so few words, and seemingly the syntax is all wrong, but after a few reads, it all fits together beautifully.
I just love Emily's tone, always with that slight smirk behind it, as if inviting a gasp of shock. Her rythms are often like playground taunts, but her subject matter (from death to religion to nature to marriage) is far from childish. That, for me, is the beauty of the writing, which encapsulates huge ideas and comments in little bubbles of stanzas.
For such a recluse, Emily has an incredible perspective on the world.