by Laura Inman
Bringing an unjustifiably marginalized poet out of the shadows, this book presents Emily Brontë’s poetry in a way that enables readers, even those who shy away from poetry, to appreciate her work. She is widely known as a novelist, but she was first and equally a poet. Her poems are varied, lyrical, intriguing, and innovative, yet they are not well known. Unlike any other collection of Brontë’s poetry, this volume arranges selected poems by thematic topic: nature, mutability, love, death, captivity and freedom, hope and despair, imagination, and spirituality. It provides literary and biographical information on each topic and interpretations, explanations, and insights into each poem. Fans of Wuthering Heights wanting more from Emily Bronte will discover that her poetry is as memorable and powerful as her novel. This book is for all who appreciate poetry, especially from the golden age of 19th-century verse. The exploration of her poetic world allows a greater and different understanding of Wuthering Heights and insights into Brontë’s fascinating mind.
This was an absolutely fantastic collection. I was expecting something completely different entering into this gorgeous selection of poetry. It speaks both to the academic reader and to the casual reader. I was worried it may be a bit too dry and be a difficult read. I was clearly mistaken. Inman blended Bronte’s works and her personal insight and created a literary treasure.
The beginning chapter introduces the reader to the Bronte sisters, specifically Emily. We learn the differences and similarities of the sisters and how their unique personalities shaped their writing.
A unique quirk about Emily’s poetry is that much of it takes place in a fictional world, which she and her sisters had created. Many times the names of the residents of this world are used in the poems. I loved this. Such a vivid imagination!
It was fascinating to read Bronte’s poems and text followed with Inman’s unique thoughts and reflections. As I was reading I felt like I could identify with Bronte and understood the symbolism behind her works.
What spoke most to me, were the chapters on nature. One of the things that I love most about Emily Bronte’s writing style is how she incorporates nature and makes the benign seem elegant and ethereal.
Inman does a wonderful job illustrating her argument and presenting supporting evidence to validate her interpretations. I thoroughly enjoyed her unique style of prose. This was a wonderful pairing, and I would recommend it to any fan of Bronte.
A unique idea, presented and executed to perfection.