Here are some of the finest poems by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), a unique voice in American poetry. She is known for her short poems, full of acute observations, and deft use of language. This careful but imaginative selection shows the remarkable variety she produced, despite the miniature nature of her medium.
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Teresa Gallagher has an agile voice and the delicate articulation necessary for interpreting the finely crafted poems of Emily Dickinson. Gallagher performs the poems with a simplicity and clarity that allow their beauty to flourish. However, Dickinson did not title her poems, so Gallagher does not have that convention as a way to mark the beginning of each work. The 99 poems selected from Dickinson's canon of over one thousand are a choice presentation highlighted by Gallagher's skillful performance. This production is a pleasurable retreat into Dickinson's imaginary world.
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Nicely performed, terribly edited
Emily Dickinson's poems have no titles, and they range over a wide span of thoughts, often making surprising leaps from verse to verse. That's what's wonderful about them: they're both meditative and unpredictable.
The problem with this recording is that they don't announce the poems - which they could do by number - and it's mixed so that one follows immediately on another. Result: it's very easy to get lost and be unclear on which poem is which. There's no announcement or pause to separate them: they all run together, and unless you happen to already know them all (all 1800-odd of them), it's actually pretty hard to be sure when one poem ends and the next begins.
This is just poor judgement on a technical issue, but they really should have broken them up somehow. As it is I hardly listen to this because it's just too confusing.