The Emily Dickinson Reader
Paul Legault, The Emily Dickinson Reader: An English-to-English Translation of Emily Dickinson's Complete Poems, (New York: Tom Doherty Associates), 2012.
Ok, Emily Dickinson fans - and I do mean fans - if you aren't already familiar with Emily Dickinson, don't look to this book to become so - here is a really different look at territory that you might think is familiar. Paul Legault combines a dry sense of humor, a bit of contemporary word play and a deep love (at least it seems like love) for Emily Dickinson into this delightful little volume. Read a page or two a day and let these gems - many hardly more than aphorisms - rest with you and dance in the back of your mind. You'll find yourself laughing out loud.
Perhaps we were all raised to take poetry a bit too seriously. If this is the case, Legault reminds us of the joy of just playing with words, ideas, concepts, relationships, and a thousand other things that we often take too seriously. Just play.
I'm not sure that this book would make for a very pleasant evening of reading out loud, but it is a perfect companion to a serious collection of Emily Dickinson poetry and a joy just for the fun of it.
If Emily Dickinson could come back from the grave and write in today's idioms . . . her poetry probably wouldn't be at all like what you'll find in this book. Still, the book is a gem and a terrific contribution to the world of poetry.