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The Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson by [Dickinson, Emily]
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The Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson Kindle Edition

1.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Review

"No one can read these poems...without perceiving that he is not so much reading as being spoken to."
--Archibald MacLeish

From the Inside Flap

Emily Dickinson lived as a recluse in Amherst, Massachusetts, dedicating herself to writing a "letter to the world"--the 1,775 poems left unpublished at her death in 1886. Today, Dickinson stands in the front rank of American poets. This enthralling collection includes more than four hundred poems that were published between Dickinson's death and 1900. They express her concepts of life and death, of love and nature, and of what Henry James called "the landscape of the soul." And as Billy Collins suggests in his Introduction, "In the age of the workshop, the reading, the poetry conference and festival, Dickinson reminds us of the deeply private nature of literary art."

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2987 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library (22 Aug. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008QLT2KO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #999,609 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Billy Collins has committed a horrible crime: not only has he butchered Dickinson's syntax, he has actually changed words (e.g., replaced "cleaving" with "cleavage"!).

There is no excuse good enough to justify this outrage. One has to wonder: Would he have done this to verse written by a man? Would he stand for anyone doing this to HIS poetry?

Don't buy this book. Read Dickinson's Dickinson.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9e087c3c) out of 5 stars 9 reviews
52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e11f684) out of 5 stars This is not really the edition you want. 22 Jun. 2001
By tepi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I don't doubt that it's possible to enjoy Emily Dickinson's poems in editions like this. But you should be aware that you are not really reading what she wrote. You are reading what earlier editors _wish_ she had written - a sort of 'tidied-up' and regularized version, the badly tampered-with-text of a genius by those who weren't.
In a way, the situation is a bit like the one that prevails with regard to food. Would you rather eat natural food or genetically modified food? Maybe the modified food doesn't taste any different, but it might be doing harmful things to you that the author of real food never intended. So why take a risk when we can have the real thing ?
There are two major editors who can be relied on for accurate texts of ED's poems. These are Dickinson scholars R. W. Franklin and Thomas H. Johnson. Both produced large Variorum editions for scholars, along with reader's editions of the Complete Poems for the ordinary reader. Details of their respective reader's editions are as follows.
THE POEMS OF EMILY DICKINSON : Reading Edition. Edited by R. W. Franklin. 692 pp. Cambridge, Massachusetts : The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-674-67624-6 (hbk.)
THE COMPLETE POEMS OF EMILY DICKINSON. Edited by Thomas H. Johnson. 784 pp. Boston : Little, Brown, 1960 and Reissued. ISBN: 0316184136 (pbk.)
For those who don't feel up to tackling the Complete Poems, there is Johnson's abridgement of his Reader's edition, an excellent selection of what he feels were her best poems:
FINAL HARVEST : Emily Dickinson's Poems. Edited by Thomas H. Johnson. 352 pages. New York : Little Brown & Co, 1997. ISBN: 0316184152 (paperbound).
Friends, do yourself a favor and get Johnson's edition. Why accept a watered-down version when you can have the real thing?
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fb5c468) out of 5 stars DO NOT GET THIS EDITION 17 May 2009
By Mickey Callaghan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
NOTE: This is not a 1-star review for Emily Dickinson. She is one of the greatest poets of all time, and should be read by everyone who loves poetry (and even those who don't).

That said, this is a terrible edition. I was shocked when I opened it in a bookstore, looking to show a friend one of her poems I had just been talking about, to discover that the punctuation had been completely modified. The meanings of some of her best poems hinge on varying interpretations of Dickinson's eccentric punctuation, and to change it seems to me one of the great crimes against poetry. I am especially disappointed because Modern Library normally puts out such excellent editions, but this one is just awful.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ea08434) out of 5 stars This isn't quite the letter Emily was writing to the world... 15 April 2007
By Jane Hollins - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I picked up this selection of Dickinson's poems on a whim because I am a huge fan of her poetry--it simply reaches to your very soul and leaves you rapt in awe. However--I must say--that I am sorely disappointed with this edition of selected poems. As one of the other reviewers has stated, this edition has been greatly tampered with--the editors have reworked the punctuation and capitalization stylistic genius of Dickinson and bastardized it to accommodate the modern reader--but, honestly, to do this severely detracts from Dickinson's so very unique voice. Particularly, the editors employed the comma as a replacement for her frivolous usage of the dash, which left me squirming in distaste--it nearly ruins the poems in my opinion. To "fix" a poem--punctuation or otherwise--is to change the very essence behind it--I was very surprised the editors would take such strange liberties in modifying these poems. If you're a stickler about poetry, this is not the edition for you. But if you wish to simply read these poems for the sake of reading them, then you may be ok with this edition--but I still would recommend against it; you don't quite get the same sense of Dickinson's subtle and profound examinations of the world.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ea0712c) out of 5 stars Sanitized Emily 21 Jun. 2007
By Le Panda Du Mal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Emily Dickinson is a genius and great poet, but this isn't the way to experience her work. Dickinson's distinctive punctuation and capitalization are "corrected"; the effect is maybe a smoother read but one far less rich in implications and possibilities. The division of the poems employed here , and in many of the older collections ("Life," "Nature," "Love," "Time and Eternity") are not Dickinson's, and are not very useful in experiencing the poems. In my opinion, this volume omits many of Emily's best poems and includes some of her least interesting/ daring. Of course, there can be many varying opinions as to what Emily's best work was, but since all of her poems are collected in one manageable volume there's no need to let someone else decide that for you. As another reviewer has said, the Johnson "Complete Poems" volume is what you want.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ea07ff0) out of 5 stars This is not really the edition you want. 22 Jun. 2001
By tepi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I don't doubt that it's possible to enjoy Emily Dickinson's poems in editions like this. But you should be aware that you are not really reading what she wrote. You are reading what earlier editors _wish_ she had written - a sort of 'tidied-up' and regularized version, the badly tampered-with-text of a genius by those who weren't.
In a way, the situation is a bit like the one that prevails with regard to food. Would you rather eat natural food or genetically modified food? Maybe the modified food doesn't taste any different, but it might be doing harmful things to us that the author of real food never intended. So why take a risk when we can have the real thing ?
There are two major editors who can be relied on for accurate texts of ED's poems. These are Dickinson scholars R. W. Franklin and Thomas H. Johnson. Both produced large Variorum editions for scholars, along with reader's editions of the Complete Poems for the ordinary reader. Details of their respective reader's editions are as follows.
THE POEMS OF EMILY DICKINSON : Reading Edition. Edited by R. W. Franklin. 692 pp. Cambridge, Massachusetts : The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-674-67624-6 (hbk.)
THE COMPLETE POEMS OF EMILY DICKINSON. Edited by Thomas H. Johnson. 784 pp. Boston : Little, Brown, 1960 and Reissued. ISBN: 0316184136 (pbk.)
For those who don't feel up to tackling the Complete Poems, there is Johnson's abridgement of his Reader's edition, an excellent selection of what he feels were her best poems:
FINAL HARVEST : Emily Dickinson's Poems. Edited by Thomas H. Johnson. 352 pages. New York : Little Brown & Co, 1997. ISBN: 0316184152 (paperbound).
Friends, do yourself a favor and get Johnson's edition. Why accept a watered-down version when you can have the real thing?
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