This collection shows one of the most constant themes throughout Emily Dickinson's poetry -her fascination with mortality. Her unique take on death is that it is universal, inevitable and not to be feared. She describes is so often in terms of joy and relief, using images often of clouds and dawn. In Dickinson's poems, it is a comfort in its inevita-bility. Although she does use religious terms when speaking of it, she doesn't have the typical religious feel around it: there isn't that feeling of escaping endless troubles on Earth to final exaltation in the worship of God. In her poems, it has more of a peaceful serenity to it, nothing grandiose. She doesn't go into disliking life at all, but more that Death is a comforting conclusion to life. Some of the poems were written in response to her losing a friend or family member to death and there is certainly more pain and sadness connected to the loss than any fear when she talks of her own death. As someone who was always quite scared of death as a child and teen, her poems brought me comfort. I was raised in a strict religious upbringing and the afterlife was painted in very specific details along with all the trials and tribulations of life on earth that would precede it. So in reading her poems, I was able to muse about this inevitability with a peace and detachment that I couldn't find anywhere else. In a letter to her cousin, Dickinson wrote: "I believe we shall in some manner be cherished by our Maker- that the One who gave us this remarkable earth has the power still farther to surprise that which He has caused. Beyond that all is silence...". It is that theme -the affection for Earth, the confidence of a peaceful afterlife despite our ignorance of it- that threads through these poems. Reading these poems allows us to feel the serenity of calm in the face of the inevitable, a sense of timelessness in our own limited amount of time. 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.