The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson Ed. Thomas H. Johnson, Little, Brown and Co., New York, 1960
Of all the books that fill all the shelves, only one I believe, has to be hard-bound. I mean: must be–as by law. A paperback edition of The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson is an affront to…well…many people, really, but certainly its author. I have one of those and it’s an affront to me. The last time I took it down from the shelf, it spilled forth forty pages all over my study floor.
Those were good pages too.
I picked them up and tucked them back in with a shake of the head: Published in the ’60’s, what did you expect? Who did this thing? Oh! Et tu, Little, Brown. I am certain that, if she had been there with me, she would have been shaking her head as well:
“What possessed you to purchase such a thing?”
“A college budget. C’mon!”
No, for Emily Dickinson, let it be hard-bound. In fact, ‘vellum’ would be nice; with a certain fragrance of ‘must’; and pages gracefully yellowed. For…