TFS 9,3: Tell All the Truth but Tell it Slant: Emily Dickinson

Apr 10, 2023    Rick Ganz

The Faber Sessions #9 Part 3 on Emily Dickinson, presented by Rick Ganz.

There is little argument among literary critics that Emily Dickinson, along with Walt Whitman, are two of the greatest of a distinctly American style or voice of poetry. The Poetry Foundation says right off that: “Emily Dickinson is one of America’s greatest and most original poets of all time. She took definition as her province and challenged the existing definitions of poetry and of the poet’s work.” 

Emily is fierce, brilliant, and startling … and rewarding, worth the effort.

And as was the case with George Herbert, and was the case with Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ, Emily Dickinson’s poetry (except for seven or so of them) was completely unknown to anyone other than herself. It was only after her death that her poetry was discovered - a prodigious output: 1,800 poems! - and then a selection of which was brought to publication four years after her death. About that the Poetry Foundation notes: “When the first volume of her poetry was published in 1890 … it met with stunning success. Going through eleven editions in less than two years …. Dickinson is now known as one of the most important American poets, and her poetry is widely read among people of all ages and interests.”