Poem of the Week is a series in The Guardian's books section, originally started by Sarah Crown but quickly taken over by poet, playwright and professor Carol Rumens. Every week she selects, introduces and interprets one poem. The archive has about four hundred poems, with only a few repeat poets, so here are a few favorites, ranging from English-language classics (John Donne, John Keats, Emily Dickinson), contemporary poets (Shazea Quraishi, Kei Miller, Katha Pollit) translated classics (Wang Wei, Horace, Rainer Maria Rilke), translated contemporary writers (Tua Forsström, Zeng Di, Aurélia Lassaque) the unfairly neglected (Adelaide Crapsey, Rosemary Tonks, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu), avant-garde (Gertrude Stein, Hugo Ball, John Ashbery) and anonymous (The Lyke-Wake Dirge, The Bridal Morn, This Endris Night). There are hundreds more on all kinds of subjects by all kinds of poets.
The Emily Dickinson Archive is a collection of high resolution digital images of Emily Dickinson's handwritten manuscripts. Here are, for instance, Because I Could Not Stop for Death, Tell the Truth but Tell It Slant, I Dwell in Possibility, They Shut Me Up in Prose and I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died. The whole collection is fully searchable and the images include the text of the poems as they were written down by Dickinson. The archive is a project of Harvard's Houghton Library but many other institutions provided manuscripts. Perhaps the best place to start is to simply browse the poems by title.
The only authenticated photgraph of Emily Dickinson is of a 16 year old girl. Amherst College now believes that a privately owned daguerrotype shows the poet as a 28 year old woman - about the time she wrote the "Master" letters.
"FAME is a fickle food / Upon a shifting plate, / Whose table once a Guest, but not / The second time, is set."
A Coconut Cake From Emily Dickinson: Reclusive Poet, Passionate Baker. [NPR.org] Poet Emily Dickinson withdrew from society for most of her adult life. And yet, she was known to lower a basket full of cakes from the window of the home she rarely left to crowds of expectant children on the street below. The Poet's House in New York City put on exhibit an original manuscript of a Dickinson cake recipe that contained coconut. That recipe calls for the following ingredients. 1 cup coconut, 2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup milk, 2 eggs, 1/2 teaspoon soda, 1 teaspoon cream of tartar.
Speculations have been made about Van Gogh, Julius Caesar, Dostoyevsky, Napoleon, and many others. A case has been made to add Emily Dickinson to their ranks.
American Verse Project is assembling an electronic archive of volumes of American poetry. Most of the archive is made up of 19th century poetry, although a few 18th century and early 20th century texts are included. Notables Include: Edgar Allen Poe, Carl Sandburg, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emily Dickinson (Series , , ), Hilda Doolittle (H.D.), James Russell Lowell. [more inside]
Carla Bruni puts poems by Emily Dickinson, W.B. Yeats, Dorothy Parker, Walter de la Mare, W.H. Auden, and Christina Rossetti to music. Listen. (via)
One of only ten poems published during Emily Dickinson's lifetime, the poem beginning "Safe in their Alabaster Chambers" continues to be reproduced in conflicting versions. Emily Dickinson Writing a Poem lets us leaf through images of Dickinson's original manuscripts and correspondences concerning the poem. According to the site, this documents surrounding this poem offer "the only example of Emily Dickinson responding directly to another reader's advice." At one point, Dickinson apparently struggled to decide between at least three alternatives of the much-contested second verse. Also included is a history of the poem's early printings, providing an opportunity to note how many publications have ignored Dickinson's idiosyncratic punctuation.
How I Met And Dated Miss Emily Dickinson: Have you ever wondered what a favourite writer really looked like? Is there any relationship between an artist's face and their art? Hemingway looks like his prose; Ezra Pound like his poetry; Picasso is a dead ringer for his paintings but, say, John Updike doesn't resemble his fiction; T.S.Eliot looks like a bank clerk and Matisse was nothing like his works. How superficial can you get? [Via Arts and Letters Daily.]