Emily Dickinson today is gaining her deserved place alongside Walt Whitman as one of the two greatest American poets of the nineteenth century. Beginning always with particulars of personal experience, her poems encompass life and death, love and longing, joyfulness and sorrow. With sparse, precise language, she conveys a penetrating vision of the natural world and an acute understanding of the most profound human truths.
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Emily Dickinson was a prolific poet, writing nearly 1,800 known pieces. Only 7 of these, however, were published before her death in 1886. This 50-poem collection includes such selections as "Forbidden Fruit," "I Had a Guinea Golden," and "Love's Baptism." There are several pieces about one of her favorite themes, the sea, which she describes as "an everywhere of silver." As is the case with most poetry, Dickinson's poems come alive when read aloud. These works--sometimes witty, sometimes sorrowful--are read by a talented group of actresses, including Stephanie Beacham, Glenda Jackson, Sharon Stone, and Meryl Streep. Listen to Glenda Jackson read Emily Dickinson's "I Died for Beauty." Visit our audio help page for more information. (Running time: 45 minutes, 1 cassette) --C.B. DelaneyAbout the Author:
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) was born in Amherst, Massachusetts. Throughout her life, she seldom left her house, and visitors were scarce. The people with whom she did come in contact, however, had an enormous impact on her thoughts and poetry. By the 1860s, she lived in almost total physical isolation from the outside world but actively maintained many correspondences and read widely. Her poetry reflects her loneliness, and the speakers of her poems generally live in a state of want, but her poems are also marked by the intimate recollection of inspirational moments which are decidedly life-giving and suggest the possibility of happiness. The first volume of her work was published posthumously in 1890 and the last in 1955.
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