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.
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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There are books of the same chemical composition as dynamite. The only difference is that a piece of dynamite explodes once, whereas a book explodes a thousand times. ― Yevgeny Zamyatin
Personally, that was a perfect narration of E. Dickinson’s delicate poems. T. Gallagher did a brilliant job. The poems that appear on the audio were meant to be read in alphabetical order. I had to put semi-colons after the poems because the list is too long; the audio needs indexing badly.
A drop fell on the apple tree; A narrow fellow in the grass; A poor torn heart, a tattered heart;
A something in a summer’s day; A still - Volcano - Life; A thought went up my mind today;
A toad can die of light!; A word is dead; A wounded deer leaps highest; Adrift! A little boat adrift!; After great pain, a formal feeling comes; All the letters I can write; Alter When the hills do; Ample make this bed; Apparently with no surprise; As imperceptibly as Grief
Beauty – be not caused – It Is; Because I could not stop for Death
Come slowly, Eden!
Dear March, come in!; Death is a dialogue between; Drab habitation of whom; Drowning is not so pitiful
Each that we lose takes part of us; Eden is that old fashioned House; Exultation is the going
Fame is a fickle food; Finite to fail but infinite to venture; Forbidden fruit a flavor has; Forever – is composed of Nows
Glee! The great storm is over
He ate and drank the precious words; He fumbles at your Soul; He touched me, so I live to know; Heart not so heavy as mine; Heart! We will forget him!; Heaven is what I cannot reach; Heaven is what I cannot reach!; Hope is a subtle glutton; Hope is the thing with feathers; How happy is the little Stone; How the old Mountains drip with Sunset
I asked no other thing; I bring an unaccustomed wine; I can wade grief; I cannot live with you; I died for beauty, but was scarce; I dreaded that first Robin, so; I dwell in Possibility;
I envy seas whereon he rides; I felt a Funeral, in my Brain; I gave myself to him; I had no cause to be awake; I had no time to hate, because I have never seen “Volcanoes”;I have no life but this; I heard a fly buzz when I died; I hide myself within my flower; I know a place where summer strives; I know some lonely houses off the road; I many times thought peace had come; I meant to find her when I came; I meant to have but modest needs; I never saw a moor; I should not dare to leave my friend; I stepped from plank to plank; I taste a liquor never brewed; I think the hemlock likes to stand; I took my power in my hand; I went to heaven; If I can stop one heart from breaking; If I may have it when it’s dead; If recollecting were forgetting; If you were coming in the fall; I’ll tell you how the Sun rose; I’m Nobody! Who are you; Is Heaven a physician; It might be easier; It sounded as if the streets were running; It tossed and tossed; It was not Death, for I stood up; It’s such a little thing to weep
Like Rain it sounded till it curved; Love is anterior to life; Luck is not chance
Mine by the right of the white election!; Mine enemy is growing old; Much madness is divinest sense; My life closed twice before its close; My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun
Nature rarer uses yellow; Not knowing when the dawn will come; Not with a Club, the Heart is broken
Of all the souls that stand create; On this wondrous sea; One blessing had I, than the rest; One need not be a chamber – to be Haunted
Pain has an element of blank; Proud of my broken heart since thou didst break it
Safe in their Alabaster Chambers; She died – this was the way she died; Some keep the Sabbath going to church; Success is counted sweetest; Surgeons must be very careful
Tell all the truth but tell it slant; That after Horror; That I did always love; That Love is all there is; The brain within its groove; The day came slow till five o’clock; The Dying need but little, Dear; The grass so little has to do; The grave my little cottage is; The heart asks pleasure first; The leaves, like women, interchange; The moon is distant from the sea;
The one that could repeat the summer day; The pedigree of honey; The rat is the concisest tenant; The Soul has Bandaged moments; The soul should always stand ajar; The spider as an artist; The waters chased him as he fled; The way I read a letter’s this; The wind begun to rock the grass; There came a Wind like a Bugle; There is no frigate like a book;
There’s a certain slant of light; There’s been a death in the opposite house; They might not need me – yet they might; They say that ‘time assuages’; This is my letter to the world;
This World is not Conclusion; ‘Tis little I could care for pearls; ‘Tis not that Dying hurts us so; To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee; ‘Twas like a Maelstrom, with a notch
Unable are the Loved to die
We never know how high we are; We never know we go, – when are we going; What if I say I shall not wait; What inn is this; Where Thou art – that; While I was fearing it, it came; Wild nights! Wild nights!; Will there really be a morning; You left me, sweet, two legacies
The pauses between the poems were too short. One had no time to reflect on the poem before the next began. In some cases, one poem followed the previous one so rapidly that it wasn't clear whether I was listening to the continuation of a poem or a new poem. This made the listening confusing.
So Great Poets would have been better if there had been more silence between one poem and the next.
I realize I might be able to use the
Teresa Gallagher is a skilled narrator and she has the perfect sweet voice and intonation for poetry by Emily Dickinson. The fault lies entirely with the producers and not with Teresa Gallagher.
"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.
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