The poem: Being a dedicated reader, I’ve always liked this short, simple poem about the joys of reading. The metaphor liking books and poems to vehicles in which to see the world is especially poignant since Dickinson rarely left her own home. I have an image of Emily sitting by a window in her home, happily reading a book while the world goes past her outside.
The downside of reading is that Emily Dickinson turned all her attention toward writing and reading, rather than experiencing life. It’s hard to fault her when her choices allowed her to turn out such influential poetry, but sometimes I feel that spend so much time reading that I may be missing out on doing. I think this is why I appreciate audiobooks so much; I can travel in a book to foreign lands at the same time I’m travelling in a car to my not-so-exotic job.
Rating: 7 / 10
The reader: There’s a number of recordings of Emily Dickenson poems at LibriVox. This one is from “Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson”, all read by Becky Miller. It’s difficult to make one’s mark as a performer in such a short poem, but Miller uses her pauses and emphasis to make the poem alive. She has a pleasant American accent that fits well with Dickinson’s lyrical poetry.