Classic Books: The Anthology Of Spoon River & The Complete Works Of Emily Dickinson

Do you like poetry books? I do, but I don’t read them as often as I’d like. There are just so many books getting released each day and, somehow, poetry collections seem to often end up at the bottom of my to-read pile. I really have to remedy that. In the meantime, I want to share with you my thoughts about two of my favourite poetry books:

Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Marsters
This is my absolute favourite poetry book and the first one I ever read too. I discovered it in Junior High School, when my English teacher translated some of the poems for the class. I was fascinated by them and, there and then, I decided that, once my English would improve, I’d buy the book. I hate reading translations. Some of the nuances and meanings get lost in translations, and that’s even more true when it comes to poems, works of art that their authors have spent lots of time and fatigue in perfecting to exactly convey their emotions and messages. The Spoon River Anthology is a collection of epitaphs of residents of a small American town. Now that they are all dead, they can reveal their joys and sorrows, their scandals and the hypocrisy of the society they lived in. It is such a clever concept and very well executed too. The poems are all in free verse and very easy to understand. It’s a sad and melancholy book but also a very enjoyable one that I highly recommend to anyone.
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Rating: 5/5

The Complete Poems Of Emily Dickinson
Like it happens to many artists, Emily Dickinson’s originality wasn’t understood in her time, and only 11 of her poems were published while she was alive. After her death, several collections of her poems were released, but these were liberally edited and weren’t therefore an accurate representation of her works and the feelings and emotions she expressed in them. We have to wait until 1955 for a collection that includes all her unabridged poems. As a poet, Dickinson dealt with a variety of themes, such as nature, God, death, immortality, love and pain. Her insights into life, the human condition and psychology and nature are very profound, and her use of free verse original. If I had to find a fault with this book, I’d say that some of her poems tend to be quite similar, which may bore those who aren’t into poetry. If that’s you, I suggest you read only a few poems at a time to better be able to appreciate them. Dickinson’s work is beautiful, but the sheer amount of poems in this book can be quite overwhelming! Overall, this book is a must for anyone who wants to read and understand Dickinson’s work. Highly recommended.
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Rating: 4.5/5

What’s your favourite poetry book?

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