Emily Dickinson is today universally acknowledged as a poet of the highest order. Writing apart from the mainstream of nineteenth-century poetry, she forged a poetic language of her own, transforming the domestic into the lyrical, creating an entire world from the microcosm of a leaf, a blade of grass, or a single metaphor. The startling originality of her work is what doomed it to obscurity during her lifetime. When Emily Dickinson died in 1886, only eleven of her poems had been published. Left behind was a body of work far more extensive than anyone had imagined - stacks and stacks of poems, tied together in packets with twine. Early posthumously published collections of Emily Dickinsons verse - some of them featuring liberally "edited" versions of her poems - did not fully or accurately represent the poet's bold experiments in prosody, her tragic vision, or the range of her intellectual and emotional explorations. Not until the 1955 publication of THE COMPLETE POEMS OF EMILY DICKINSON, a three-volume critical edition compiled by Thomas H.Johnson, were readers able for the first time to assess, understand, and appreciate the breadth of Dickinson's extraordinary poetic genius. This book, which distills THE COMPLETE POEMS into a single volume, contains all 1,775 poems that Emily Dickinson wrote. It is the standard text against which all other Dickinson collections must be measured.
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