My Emily Dickinson

Front Cover
New Directions Publishing, 2007 - Literary Criticism - 144 pages
With exacting rigor and wit, Howe pulls Dickinson free of all the sterile and stuffy belle-of-Amherst cotton wool and shows the poet in touch with elemental forces of nature, and as a prophet in all her radical zealotry and poetic glory. Her Emily Dickinson is a unique American genius, a demon lover of poetry—no neurasthenic spider artist. Howe draws into her discussion Browning, Wuthering Heights, the Civil War, "Master," the great Puritan preachers, captivity narratives, Shakespeare, and phantom lovers. As she chases away narrow and reductive feminist readings of the poet, Howe finds instead a radically powerful and true feminism at work in Dickinson, focusing the whole on that heart-stopping poem "My Life had stood—a Loaded Gun."

A remarkable and passionate poet-on-poet engagement, My Emily Dickinson frees a great poet from the fetters of being read as a special female neurotic, and sets her against a fiery open sky where "Perception of an object means loosing and losing it...only Mutability certain." My Emily Dickinson won The Before Columbus Foundation Book Award.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User 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 Dickinson

User 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

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2007)

Susan Howe has won the Bollingen Prize, the Frost Medal, and the Griffin Award. She is the author of such seminal works as Debths, That This, The Midnight, My Emily Dickinson, The Quarry, and The Birthmark .Eliot Weinberger is an essayist, editor, and translator. He lives in New York City.

Bibliographic information