Benjamin Ivry

From the Scrapbook

Emily Dickinson’s Poems as She Preserved Them

By

Harvard University Press/Belknap Press 845pp £29.95 order from our bookshop

Most readers have a vague idea of Emily Dickinson (1830–86) as a reclusive mid-19th-century New England spinster who wrote much verse but published almost nothing. Previous modern editions have presented her work in chronological order. This new collection, edited by Cristanne Miller, a professor of English at the University of Buffalo in New York, mirrors the arrangements of the poems that Dickinson produced herself in manuscript booklets made up of folded sheets that she tied together with string (they were given the ungainly term ‘fascicles’ by an early editor). These are supplemented by poems left on unbound sheets, stray pieces of paper and envelopes. Although few of the poems are grouped together by theme, this book brings us as close as we can get to how the author presented her work without going online to the Emily Dickinson Archive or Amherst College Digital Collections to view images of the original manuscripts. Sparing us the task of deciphering the poet’s sometimes challenging handwriting and presenting intriguing variants, this edition demonstrates why generations of writers have been galvanised by Dickinson. 

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,