My Emily Dickinson
"Starts off as a manifesto but becomes richer and more suggestive as it develops."—The New York Sun
For Wallace Stevens, "Poetry is the scholar's art." Susan Howe—taking the poet-scholar-critics Charles Olson, H.D., and William Carlos Williams (among others) as her guides—embodies that art in her 1985 My Emily Dickinson (winner of the Before Columbus Foundation Book Award). Howe shows ways in which earlier scholarship had shortened Dickinson's intellectual reach by ignoring the use to which she put her wide reading. Giving close attention to the well-known poem, "My Life had stood—a Loaded Gun," Howe tracks Dickens, Browning, Emily Brontė, Shakespeare, and Spenser, as well as local Connecticut River Valley histories, Puritan sermons, captivity narratives, and the popular culture of the day. "Dickinson's life was language and a lexicon her landscape. Forcing, abbreviating, pushing, padding, subtracting, riddling, interrogating, re-writing, she pulled text from text...."
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - dasam - LibraryThing
Howe's short book is an illuminating take on one of my favorite poets, focusing in particular on a careful reading of "My Life Stood---a Loaded Gun." Howe does an excellent job of showing the poetic ... Read full review
My Emily DickinsonUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Howe's 1985 volume took Emily Dickinson study to another level, as she revealed new depth in the poet's work undiscovered by previous critics. Howe traces the many influences on the poems, ranging ... Read full review