I finished the Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson yesterday. This is small book, but it has about 175 poems in it. I still say that Emily Dickinson is not my favorite poet. Many of her works feel smashed together with sentences twisted to make the rhymes. But, then I read (or, rather, listened to) a small portion of her biography and realized that she never intended for most of her poems to be published. She could smash and twist words and sentences because she wan’t going to let anyone read her scribbles. She probably did not do much editing or rewriting either.
Emily Dickinson was a recluse and lived most of her life voluntarily shut in her room. Though she was never ungracious to visitors, she preferred solitude instead. You can tell from several of her poems, like these three, that she had quite a vivid imagination.
“I know some lonely houses off the road a robber’d like the look of…”
“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul…”
“I started early, took me dog, and visited the sea…”
However, it is definitely worth your time to become aquatinted with Emily Dickinson’s poetry, especially if you would like to be a writer or poet. Though you may find some of her poems harder to understand, look for little one or two line phrases that catch your fancy. I think that is what I enjoyed most – looking for those little phrases that stood out to me, caught my eye, and made my imagination go, “Wow, how neat!”
The subjects Emily Dickinson wrote about were nature, life, death, eternity, and love. If you think about, are there any other subjects? Perhaps that is why she is loved by so many readers. She has a line or two for everyone. I’ve shared some of my favorites here on the blog (you can click the Emily Dickinson tag to find them). But I encourage you to read Dickinson’s poems and decide which ones are your own favorites.