Can you write a book review
Entirely in verse?
Omitting standard sentences
For stanzas taut and terse?

It seems a fitting treatment
For such a book as this;
So humor me, I beg you—
And my limited wit.

Emily Dickinson was a poet,
One of the very best;
A natural gift with language—
At once daft and deft.

Something of a recluse,
Something of a crank;
Living closed up in her room—
Like a fish in a tank.

Undoubtedly a genius,
Ahead of her time;
Unappreciated in her life,
For her erratic rhymes.

But when she finally passed away,
Her cache of poems was found;
Edited to the day’s tastes—
The dashes taken out.

The dash—the perfect punctuation
For her unique style;
Jagged—ragged—sudden—striking
And also—versatile.

Obsessed with life—and death—and bees,
Most of her poems are short;
Some of them only one quatrain,
They end before they start.

And what entrancing rhythm!
Like the beating of a drum—
Her words hammer forward—
Marching—stomping—thumping—done!

The classic case of genius,
At first misunderstood;
Now her poems are classic,
Widely read and widely loved.

So thank you, Ms. Dickinson,
For dedicating yourself—
To art, to words, to poetry—
To posterity’s bookshelf.

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