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MY LETTER TO THE WORLD by Emily Dickinson


and other Poems

by Emily Dickinson & illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-55453-103-5
Publisher: KCP Poetry/Kids Can

This slender volume offers seven of Dickinson’s haunting, ethereal and sometimes morbid poems, accompanied by Arsenault’s appropriately delicate, intriguing mixed-media illustrations. The poems include some of Dickinson’s best known, including “Judge Tenderly of Me” and “A Certain Slant of Light.” Because Dickinson did not title her poems and used erratic punctuation, often ending lines and poems with just a dash, those not familiar with her work may have a hard time deciphering where one poem ends and another begins, and the design offers few visual cues. The style of illustrations, while lovely—half- and full-page spreads rendered mostly in black, white and gray, with occasional striking splashes of color—does not significantly vary from one poem to the next. Observant readers may notice that the first word of each poem is in a different typeface, but since that same typeface appears in other places, the signal is not completely clear. Teen Dickinson fans will enjoy this volume, but it is unlikely to make her poetry truly accessible to novices. (Poetry. 12 & up)