How long did it take for Emily Dickinson’s complete poems to be published in more or less their original form?

An authoritative variorum edition of Emily Dickinson’s complete poems was not published until Thomas H. Johnson did so in 1955, nearly 70 years after Dickinson’s death.

Dickinson (1830-86) died with over 1709 poems unpublished; shortly thereafter (in 1890-91), her friends Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Mabel L. Todd began a tradition of publishing her poetry in heavily edited, conventionalized form.

Fearful of public reaction, the editors altered her meter and rhyme schemes, metaphors, and syntax, gutting her poetry of much that later generations would appreciate as original.

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