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Poems (Shambhala Pocket Classics)

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Considered by many to be the spiritual mother of American poetry, Emily Dickinson (1830–1886) was one of the most prolific and innovative poets of her era. Well-known for her reclusive personal life in Amherst, Massachusetts, her distinctively short lines, and eccentric approach to punctuation and capitalization, she completed over seventeen hundred poems in her short life Considered by many to be the spiritual mother of American poetry, Emily Dickinson (1830–1886) was one of the most prolific and innovative poets of her era. Well-known for her reclusive personal life in Amherst, Massachusetts, her distinctively short lines, and eccentric approach to punctuation and capitalization, she completed over seventeen hundred poems in her short life. Though fewer than a dozen of her poems were actually published during her lifetime, she is still one of the most widely read poets in the English language. Over one hundred of her best poems are collected here.


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Considered by many to be the spiritual mother of American poetry, Emily Dickinson (1830–1886) was one of the most prolific and innovative poets of her era. Well-known for her reclusive personal life in Amherst, Massachusetts, her distinctively short lines, and eccentric approach to punctuation and capitalization, she completed over seventeen hundred poems in her short life Considered by many to be the spiritual mother of American poetry, Emily Dickinson (1830–1886) was one of the most prolific and innovative poets of her era. Well-known for her reclusive personal life in Amherst, Massachusetts, her distinctively short lines, and eccentric approach to punctuation and capitalization, she completed over seventeen hundred poems in her short life. Though fewer than a dozen of her poems were actually published during her lifetime, she is still one of the most widely read poets in the English language. Over one hundred of her best poems are collected here.

30 review for Poems (Shambhala Pocket Classics)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Belinda Vlasbaard

    5 stars english hardcover Must read for school. But the poems did enchant me reading them near the canal in England.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Asma

    Oh lord what a beauty!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ayesha Fayyaz

    In early days of nanowripo (Ah! I don't think I have spelled it correctly), one day was dedicated to Emily Dickenson's poetry style and I was very impressed to read her one of the famous poems: Hope is the thing with feathers. Now having read pretty much of them, I think she has an amazing art to describe a simple noun like 'patience, hope, smile, pain' in a variety of wonderful ways. The way she describes 'expanded time and smile's exertion' is mind blowing. Anyone who love poetry must try read In early days of nanowripo (Ah! I don't think I have spelled it correctly), one day was dedicated to Emily Dickenson's poetry style and I was very impressed to read her one of the famous poems: Hope is the thing with feathers. Now having read pretty much of them, I think she has an amazing art to describe a simple noun like 'patience, hope, smile, pain' in a variety of wonderful ways. The way she describes 'expanded time and smile's exertion' is mind blowing. Anyone who love poetry must try reading her work once. Some of the poems were very lame and over sentimental and depicted over frustration! Of course I didn't like those.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mina Ajam

    SHE IS AMAZING !! -Selected Poems- -That it will never come again -Forever is composed of nows -Saying nothing sometimes says the most. -A word is dead when it's been said, some say. I say it just begins to live that day -Truth is so rare, it is delightful to tell it. -I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine SHE IS AMAZING !! -Selected Poems- -That it will never come again -Forever is composed of nows -Saying nothing sometimes says the most. -A word is dead when it's been said, some say. I say it just begins to live that day -Truth is so rare, it is delightful to tell it. -I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine

  5. 5 out of 5

    ZaRi

    "Heaven"—is what I cannot reach! The Apple on the Tree— Provided it do hopeless—hang— That—"He aven" is—to Me! The Color, on the Cruising Cloud— The interdicted Land— Behind the Hill—the House behind— There—Paradise—is found! Her teasing Purples—Afternoons— The credulous—decoy— Enamored—of the Conjuror— That spurned us—Yesterday! "Heaven"—is what I cannot reach! The Apple on the Tree— Provided it do hopeless—hang— That—"He aven" is—to Me! The Color, on the Cruising Cloud— The interdicted Land— Behind the Hill—the House behind— There—Paradise—is found! Her teasing Purples—Afternoons— The credulous—decoy— Enamored—of the Conjuror— That spurned us—Yesterday!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Baz

    I now understand why Emily Dickinson is so praised and is highly regarded. Her work is absolutely amazing! I really want to read a lot more poetry, as I’ve read a lot of poems and listened to a lot of spoken word but I haven’t read many poetry collections and I want to change that. I love poetry as a medium to express raw and personal ideas, struggles etc. So in the future you will definitely be seeing me read more poetry. Dickinson’s poetry feels so timeless and What I think makes her work so t I now understand why Emily Dickinson is so praised and is highly regarded. Her work is absolutely amazing! I really want to read a lot more poetry, as I’ve read a lot of poems and listened to a lot of spoken word but I haven’t read many poetry collections and I want to change that. I love poetry as a medium to express raw and personal ideas, struggles etc. So in the future you will definitely be seeing me read more poetry. Dickinson’s poetry feels so timeless and What I think makes her work so timeless is that she focus on the emotion rather than the experience. What I mean is that everyone throughout history has felt fear, angry, happiness etc. but what causes those emotions is different throughout history as it’s so subjective to the person. Dickinson captures emotions so beautifully. For example her poem titled Hope, which has her famous line “hope is the thing with feathers”, she describes the abstract concept of hope rather than writing what gives her hope. I have honestly read that poem at least 20 times, it’s just so good. I am no poetry expert by any means, but I honestly have nothing bad/ constructive to say, sure there are some poems that I didn’t like or didn’t know what they trying to say. However, the vast majority of them were beautiful, relatable and meaningful.

  7. 4 out of 5

    mariana

    “𝓐𝓼 𝓲𝓯 𝓶𝔂 𝓵𝓲𝓯𝓮 𝔀𝓮𝓻𝓮 𝓼𝓱𝓪𝓿𝓮𝓷 𝓐𝓷𝓭 𝓯𝓲𝓽𝓽𝓮𝓭 𝓽𝓸 𝓪 𝓯𝓻𝓪𝓶𝓮, 𝓐𝓷𝓭 𝓬𝓸𝓾𝓵𝓭 𝓷𝓸𝓽 𝓫𝓻𝓮𝓪𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝔀𝓲𝓽𝓱𝓸𝓾𝓽 𝓪 𝓴𝓮𝔂; 𝓐𝓷𝓭 '𝓽 𝔀𝓪𝓼 𝓵𝓲𝓴𝓮 𝓶𝓲𝓭𝓷𝓲𝓰𝓱𝓽, 𝓼𝓸𝓶𝓮, 𝓦𝓱𝓮𝓷 𝓮𝓿𝓮𝓻𝔂𝓽𝓱𝓲𝓷𝓰 𝓽𝓱𝓪𝓽 𝓽𝓲𝓬𝓴𝓮𝓭 𝓱𝓪𝓼 𝓼𝓽𝓸𝓹𝓹𝓮𝓭, 𝓐𝓷𝓭 𝓼𝓹𝓪𝓬𝓮 𝓼𝓽𝓪𝓻𝓮𝓼, 𝓪𝓵𝓵 𝓪𝓻𝓸𝓾𝓷𝓭, 𝓞𝓻 𝓰𝓻𝓲𝓼𝓵𝔂 𝓯𝓻𝓸𝓼𝓽𝓼, 𝓯𝓲𝓻𝓼𝓽 𝓪𝓾𝓽𝓾𝓶𝓷 𝓶𝓸𝓻𝓷𝓼, 𝓡𝓮𝓹𝓮𝓪𝓵 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓫𝓮𝓪𝓽𝓲𝓷𝓰 𝓰𝓻𝓸𝓾𝓷𝓭.” I love the style of Emily's poems so much, they are very deep and with a good dose of melancholy, which becomes more realistic and you can imagine writing those passages. It is something impressive, I’m truly impressed. I’ve started reading her poems m “𝓐𝓼 𝓲𝓯 𝓶𝔂 𝓵𝓲𝓯𝓮 𝔀𝓮𝓻𝓮 𝓼𝓱𝓪𝓿𝓮𝓷 𝓐𝓷𝓭 𝓯𝓲𝓽𝓽𝓮𝓭 𝓽𝓸 𝓪 𝓯𝓻𝓪𝓶𝓮, 𝓐𝓷𝓭 𝓬𝓸𝓾𝓵𝓭 𝓷𝓸𝓽 𝓫𝓻𝓮𝓪𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝔀𝓲𝓽𝓱𝓸𝓾𝓽 𝓪 𝓴𝓮𝔂; 𝓐𝓷𝓭 '𝓽 𝔀𝓪𝓼 𝓵𝓲𝓴𝓮 𝓶𝓲𝓭𝓷𝓲𝓰𝓱𝓽, 𝓼𝓸𝓶𝓮, 𝓦𝓱𝓮𝓷 𝓮𝓿𝓮𝓻𝔂𝓽𝓱𝓲𝓷𝓰 𝓽𝓱𝓪𝓽 𝓽𝓲𝓬𝓴𝓮𝓭 𝓱𝓪𝓼 𝓼𝓽𝓸𝓹𝓹𝓮𝓭, 𝓐𝓷𝓭 𝓼𝓹𝓪𝓬𝓮 𝓼𝓽𝓪𝓻𝓮𝓼, 𝓪𝓵𝓵 𝓪𝓻𝓸𝓾𝓷𝓭, 𝓞𝓻 𝓰𝓻𝓲𝓼𝓵𝔂 𝓯𝓻𝓸𝓼𝓽𝓼, 𝓯𝓲𝓻𝓼𝓽 𝓪𝓾𝓽𝓾𝓶𝓷 𝓶𝓸𝓻𝓷𝓼, 𝓡𝓮𝓹𝓮𝓪𝓵 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓫𝓮𝓪𝓽𝓲𝓷𝓰 𝓰𝓻𝓸𝓾𝓷𝓭.” I love the style of Emily's poems so much, they are very deep and with a good dose of melancholy, which becomes more realistic and you can imagine writing those passages. It is something impressive, I’m truly impressed. I’ve started reading her poems more, and I’m glad I did, because if I didn’t, I would always think I hated poems, but everything changed when I watched Dickison on Apple+ , and it encouraged me to read more about their works, and I admit that I made a great choice.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    I had to read a book of poetry for a reading challenge this year. I admit to not being especially savvy when it comes to understanding the true meaning of many poems, but I took poetry in college, and I had a done decent job of explicating "Because I Could Not Stop for Death," so I figured what the heck. Also, my physician once told me that she had experienced gnosis, and actually wrote a book of his own regarding her spirituality and the Bible, or something along those lines. A lot of it is sti I had to read a book of poetry for a reading challenge this year. I admit to not being especially savvy when it comes to understanding the true meaning of many poems, but I took poetry in college, and I had a done decent job of explicating "Because I Could Not Stop for Death," so I figured what the heck. Also, my physician once told me that she had experienced gnosis, and actually wrote a book of his own regarding her spirituality and the Bible, or something along those lines. A lot of it is still barely understandable to me, but I did bookmark a number of poems that I feel I may be able to better understand and appreciate if I go back and re-read them, you know, 10 or 20 times....

  9. 4 out of 5

    Doug

    What I learned: I don't get it. I understand it was probably still huge to see a woman poet in her time about fifty years after Jane Austen, but I just don't see anything spectacular in this poetry! Topically: the styles don't do the ideas justice. As for the executions--boring. I want to be led and teased, dipped and climaxed; her poems all feel cut by the same carving of safe pacing and safe, prominently religious, ideas. They're quick, which is a plus--usually. They rhyme, which is definitely What I learned: I don't get it. I understand it was probably still huge to see a woman poet in her time about fifty years after Jane Austen, but I just don't see anything spectacular in this poetry! Topically: the styles don't do the ideas justice. As for the executions--boring. I want to be led and teased, dipped and climaxed; her poems all feel cut by the same carving of safe pacing and safe, prominently religious, ideas. They're quick, which is a plus--usually. They rhyme, which is definitely favoured by me. But her writing is just not my cup of tea.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sonja Waters

    this is a teeny tiny book that fits in your back pocket. this is also the first time i've actually really read emily d. maybe in high school, but i was a smart-ass kid and probably skimmed her works thinking they did not pertain to me. well, they do!! she is wonderful. her poems are swift and sharp. i carry this book with me everywhere and have read through it hundreds of times. the portability of it makes it my best friend, and the depth of it makes it a great thinking companion. this is a teeny tiny book that fits in your back pocket. this is also the first time i've actually really read emily d. maybe in high school, but i was a smart-ass kid and probably skimmed her works thinking they did not pertain to me. well, they do!! she is wonderful. her poems are swift and sharp. i carry this book with me everywhere and have read through it hundreds of times. the portability of it makes it my best friend, and the depth of it makes it a great thinking companion.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Trudy

    Another of my mother's favorite poets. I love Emily Dickinson because she writes personally, simply, yet beautifully descriptive. I recommend her to all hungering souls! One quoted often by Mom is "I'm Nobody, Who are you? Are you nobody too? Then there's a pair of us--don't tell, they'd banish us you know..." For musicians, some of her poems have been set in trio arrangements. Lots of fun to sing! Another of my mother's favorite poets. I love Emily Dickinson because she writes personally, simply, yet beautifully descriptive. I recommend her to all hungering souls! One quoted often by Mom is "I'm Nobody, Who are you? Are you nobody too? Then there's a pair of us--don't tell, they'd banish us you know..." For musicians, some of her poems have been set in trio arrangements. Lots of fun to sing!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alexis Peters

    Emily Dickinson is a very descriptive poeter to read. Her grammar and style is very old, making it hard for the new generations to read and understand. She kept building on her courage so she could face herself. She writes about the simplicity, of her personal stories, yet has a beautiful and challenging description. She has her own style of not only writing, but the way she looks at life. Its a great book to read that gives you a different perspective, if your up for a challenge.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Patrice Miller

    While not a definitive collection by any means, this collection is very lovingly edited. Some of Dickinson's more interesting meditations on pain, time, and the body are featured in here, and their arrangement creates a lovely conversation. It's small size makes it the perfect travel companion. My edition is dog-eared, pencil-lined, and well-worn. While not a definitive collection by any means, this collection is very lovingly edited. Some of Dickinson's more interesting meditations on pain, time, and the body are featured in here, and their arrangement creates a lovely conversation. It's small size makes it the perfect travel companion. My edition is dog-eared, pencil-lined, and well-worn.

  14. 4 out of 5

    bianca

    'I many times thought Peace had come When Peace was far away - As Wrecked Men - deem they sight the Land - At Centre of the Sea - And struggle slacker - but to prove As hopelessly as I - How many the fictitious Shores Before the Harbor be -' Yes, yes, yes. This is the first poetry book I've read, and I absolutely loved it. Gave me chills all down my spine over and over. 'I many times thought Peace had come When Peace was far away - As Wrecked Men - deem they sight the Land - At Centre of the Sea - And struggle slacker - but to prove As hopelessly as I - How many the fictitious Shores Before the Harbor be -' Yes, yes, yes. This is the first poetry book I've read, and I absolutely loved it. Gave me chills all down my spine over and over.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    when i keep this book in my back pocket, it looks like i own a wallet. brenda hillman did a fine job of selecting ms. dickinson's poems. this is the most beat-up and worn-out book i own, but i'm still holding out hope it lasts forever. when i keep this book in my back pocket, it looks like i own a wallet. brenda hillman did a fine job of selecting ms. dickinson's poems. this is the most beat-up and worn-out book i own, but i'm still holding out hope it lasts forever.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Because everyone could use a little of this in their pocket: TO make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,— One clover, and a bee, And revery. The revery alone will do If bees are few.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tamara

    Again, doesn't have to be this edition, but my Dickenson and my Wordsworth sit side by side on my shelf of necessary-to-living books. Her poetry is the most insightful and soul-wrenching use of language, and it moves me deeply. Again, doesn't have to be this edition, but my Dickenson and my Wordsworth sit side by side on my shelf of necessary-to-living books. Her poetry is the most insightful and soul-wrenching use of language, and it moves me deeply.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Philip Jenks

    the pocket classic does violence to Dickinson. One can safely say that anyone providing a positive review of this is actively harming poetry with thoughtlessness. This symbolizes what kills writing, and has no resemblance to the author's poems. Shelve it under pulp or "recycle bin." the pocket classic does violence to Dickinson. One can safely say that anyone providing a positive review of this is actively harming poetry with thoughtlessness. This symbolizes what kills writing, and has no resemblance to the author's poems. Shelve it under pulp or "recycle bin."

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mila Temnyalova

    "I YEARS had been from home" and "I MEASURE every grief I meet" are my all-time Dickinson favourites. "I YEARS had been from home" and "I MEASURE every grief I meet" are my all-time Dickinson favourites.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Setting Sail Exultation is the going Of an inland soul to sea, Past the houses, past the headlands, Into deep eternity! Bred as we, among the mountains, Can the sailor understand The divine intoxication Of the first league out from land?

  21. 4 out of 5

    R.M.

    I remember one of the reviews said it was like jewels. It is. When I read it each poem was like this little jewel that you could just cherish. Absolutely loved it!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lara

    I have read these many times, however Maya and I are reading them together. What an awesome experience to discuss symbolism with your nine year old.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    Simply, the best female poet of the 19th Century. Perhaps, the best POET of the 19th Century?

  24. 4 out of 5

    Stefani

    This is the best collection of Emily Dickinson's poetry that I have ever found. Though I suggest using a scripture pencil when making notes on the pages, they tend to bleed more than regular pages. This is the best collection of Emily Dickinson's poetry that I have ever found. Though I suggest using a scripture pencil when making notes on the pages, they tend to bleed more than regular pages.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Asal

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. poem

  26. 5 out of 5

    Marissa Pineda

    This isn't the edition I own and have read, but I couldn't find mine on the site. Nevertheless, I love Dickenson's poems and get a kick out of perusing my book. This isn't the edition I own and have read, but I couldn't find mine on the site. Nevertheless, I love Dickenson's poems and get a kick out of perusing my book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    Reread. Astonishing.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    The rhyming scheme just doesn't sit well with me. I enjoyed a few poems but kept sing-songing them in my head. Further cementing my theory that I only like free verse. The rhyming scheme just doesn't sit well with me. I enjoyed a few poems but kept sing-songing them in my head. Further cementing my theory that I only like free verse.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bailey Jackson

    Emily Dickinson is one of my all-time favorite poets.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nurul Afiqah

    I enjoyed few poems and the reasons I can not fully into them is the unpoetic self of mine

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