In this volume, we have a beautiful collection of Emily Dickinson's poems on life in general. The themes are varied, from gambling to God, from death to hope, but throughout is the theme of contrast. In these poems, she highlights all joys as being contrasted by their sorrows, food contrasted with hunger, peace contrasted with pain. It is in the sadness that the happiness is most valued, in the ocean that the harbor is the most appreciated. This is so much of her brilliance in writing -the darkness of a subject is made palatable by the lightness of her verse or the words she chooses. This collection is particularly special to me because my mother used to quote the poem on page 41 to me as a child. 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. / How dreary to be somebody! / How public, like a frog / To tell your name the livelong day / To an admiring bog! Both my parents adored Emily Dickinson (she was one of the inspirations behind my name) and this was my mother's favorite of her poems. And how can one find a better example of contrast than in this poem? In the spirit of connection and isolation, in the somebodiness of being nobody? Few poets can touch on such heartbreaking themes as Dickinson does here in such a manner that the sweetness and lightness is never quite lost. You can pour over this volume without feeling heavier by the act of it but truly feeling like you have had a chance to experience life in the role of an affectionate observer; seeing and even feeling the tragedy without being swallowed up by it. Because, after all, without the tragedy, would the joy taste as sweet? Emma Wallace, Singer-songwriter
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), the great visionary poet whose idiosyncratic style, intense inner life, and eternally questioning mind make her one of the most fascinating and beloved American writers and the perfect medium for this divination deck. A "passenger of infinity," Dickinson contemplated the "little Mysteries" that "harass us - like Life - and Death" and came up with these breathtakingly ethereal answers.