Only eleven of Emily Dickinson's poems were published prior to her death in 1886; the startling originality of her work doomed it to obscurity in her lifetime. Early posthumously published collections—some of them featuring liberally "edited" versions of the poems—did not fully and accurately represent Dickinson's bold experiments in prosody, her tragic vision, and 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 whole of Dickinson's extraordinary poetic genius.
This book, a distillation of the three-volume Complete Poems, brings together the original texts of all 1,775 poems that Emily Dickinson wrote.
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