We’re not ashamed to admit poetry has always been just a bit above our pay grade. Verses like “Behold the Atom — I preferred — / To all the lists of Clay!” are just so damn hard to understand.
But Paul Legault has our back.
In his new book, The Emily Dickinson Reader, the Canadian poet hilariously translates every one of Dickinson’s 1,789 poems into pithy, modern-day prose. The result is sheer genius that begs to be recited aloud.
Herewith, some CliffsNotes:
No. 53: “If you want me to stop carrying roses, you’ll have to pry them from my cold, dead hands.”
No. 1,246: “Sometimes when it rains, it’s also very windy, and everything gets very wet until it stops raining. I should be a meteorologist.”
No. 1,568: “I want the little pirate that lives inside of my heart to be my friend.”
We say give this guy a raise. Or at least a standing ovation.
Available at amazon.com, $10.
Photo: Courtesy of McSweeney’s