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The Poetry of Emily Dickinson

The Poetry of Emily Dickinson

by Emily Dickinson

I find ecstasy in living—the mere sense of living is joy enough.


Emily Dickinson, age 16 (Courtesy of Amherst College Archives and Special Collections)

Collected Poetry

The three-volume Variorum Edition of The Poems of Emily Dickinson, edited by R. W. Franklin (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1998), is the most reliable edition of Dickinson’s collected poems. The paperback “Reading Edition” of this collection is suggested for readers (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005).

Selected Poetry

Recommended editions include Final Harvest, edited by Thomas H. Johnson (New York: Back Bay Books, 1964); The Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson (New York: Modern Library, 2004), which includes an introduction by Billy Collins; and Essential Dickinson (New York: Ecco, 1996), which includes an introduction by Joyce Carol Oates.

Emily Dickinson’s Letters

Emily Dickinson: Selected Letters, edited by Thomas H. Johnson. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1958.

Biographies and Literary Criticism

Farr, Judith, with Louise Carter. The Gardens of Emily Dickinson. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004.

Habegger, Alfred. My Wars Are Laid Away in Books: The Life of Emily Dickinson. New York: Modern Library, 2001.

Longsworth, Polly. The World of Emily Dickinson: A Visual Biography. New York: Norton, 1990.

Sewall, Richard B. The Life of Emily Dickinson. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998 (Originally published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 1974).

Visit the Poetry Foundation's website at www.poetryfoundation.org for a biography and bibliography of Dickinson, along with many of her poems.

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