Emily Dickinson was born into a prominent New England family. Sociable as a child, she grew increasingly withdrawn, and in later years became known as a recluse. Only seven of her poems were published during her lifetime. After Emily's death in 1886, her sister discovered the bulk of her poems and began publishing them, thus establishing Emily Dickinson as one of the greatest poets of the English language.
At the age of 23, Emily Dickinson receded from the social whirl of her prominent family into semiseclusion. For the remaining 23 years of her life she was happiest when alone and writing. As she requested in "The Prayer," "Great Spirit, give to me a heaven not so large as yours, but large enough for me." Read by a group of very talented celebrity women such as Meryl Streep, Sharon Stone, and Alfre Woodard, these pieces lean toward the somber side of Dickinson's work (which, as her fans know, is very somber indeed). Poems include "Shipwreck," "Will There Really Be a Morning?" and "To Know Just How He Suffered." (Running time: 45 minutes, 1 cassette) --C.B. Delaney