All Work, No Fun
By Paul Legault
McSweeney’s Books, $17.00, 246 pages
This beautiful, little book, dressed in blue with gilt-edged pages and a satin ribbon bookmark looks to be for die-hard Dickinson fans, at least those that can enjoy a laugh at her expense. For those not so familiar with the great poet’s works, this companion may prove difficult. First, the author does not reference which collection of Dickinson’s poems it corresponds to. Second, each analysis has only a number as a reference to a poem; unfortunately, this did not match the collected poems’ volume I obtained. Using the index of first lines also proved problematic. Readers intimately familiar with Dickinson may fare better, but I suspect others will resort to Google, as I did. While the back cover examples hint at funny translations (Original: “Speech is one symptom of affection and Silence one –“, Translation: “I like quiet sex.”), this reader found the work to get there unfulfilling.
Reviewed by Lisa Ard