Emily Dickinson was a prolific writer and yet, with the exception of four poems in a limited regional volume, her poems were never published during her lifetime. It was indeed fortunate that her sister discovered the poems—all loosely bound in bundles—shortly after Dickinson died.
Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson is the complete collection of the first three volumes of poetry published posthumously in 1890, 1891, and 1896 by editors Mary Loomis Todd and Thomas Wentworth Higginson. The volumes were all received with high acclaim and contain some of her best-known poems. It was in the twentieth century, however, that Dickinson was finally recognized as one of the great poets and, without dispute, the most popular.
The name Emily Dickinson is a legend now, but she never had the opportunity to taste the wine of success and fame in her lifetime. In fact, if there was any legendary status she received in her life, it was not for poetry but for the way she lived her life. She received local notoriety in her native town of Amherst, Massachusetts, as an eccentric recluse who, with few exceptions, would never set foot outside her house. Yet, as her poetry will attest, she had a keen insight of life, love, nature, and death and seemed to be content with her station in life.
Reading through the poems in Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson, you will see that she was indeed a woman of independence and spirit, a poet that lives today in our hearts and minds.