Franklin Poems Title Page

Franklin Poems Contents






Although Emily Dickinson did not publish, at least ten of her poems came before the public in her lifetime, each of them anonymously, chiefly in newspapers.  These random appearances, listed in Appendix 1, were acts of admiration, love turned to larceny, as Susan Dickinson, her sister-in-law and Amherst neighbor, described them in her obituary of the poet.  Dickinson, who once called publication "the Auction / Of the Mind of Man" ("so foul a thing") and rejected the "Disgrace of Price," was steadfastly unwilling.  Publication was foreign to her thought, she told Thomas Wentworth Higginson, asserting that her "Barefoot Rank" was better.  The persistence of Helen Hunt Jackson, who regarded Dickinson's poetry with engaging enthusiasm, elicited nothing positive when she sought permission to include "Success is counted sweetest" (112) in A Masque of Poets (1878), part of a series in which authors were not identified. Although Jackson could offer double anonymity by submitting it for her, the poem appeared, somewhat altered, without her authorization or cooperation. Even in the Civil War publications of 1864, a year in which, remark-ably, five poems made ten newspaper appearances, the poems themselves were from earlier years, apparently drawn from the hands of family or friends.  Two years later, when "A narrow fellow in the grass" (1096) appeared in the Springfield Republican, Dickinson sent a clipping to Higginson, disavowing it, lest in meeting her Snake he think she had deceived him.  The poem had been "robbed" of her and defeated, too, she noted, by the punctuation, a question mark that prevented continuation of the third line into the fourth.  It was her only recorded complaint about the rendering of any of her poems in print, usually with titles, sometimes emended, always regularized.  None of the larcenies seems to have endangered her relationships with known perpetrators — William Howland, a friend from her late teens and early twenties, Susan Dickinson, Helen Hunt Jackson, and Thomas Niles, publisher of her "Success."
      At her death in May 1886, Dickinson left nearly eighteen hundred poems, virtually unpublished.  They existed in various manuscript states and were largely in her own possession, though hundreds of copies had been sent to others.  Her sister, Lavinia, found them the week after the funeral.  Amazed at the quantity and determined that they should be pub-


1      Introduction





lished, she set herself to finding an editor, turning first to Susan Dickinson. Susan discussed them with William C. Brownell and attempted to publish in journals.  On 31 December 1886 she submitted one, without success, to Richard Watson Gilder of the Century:

I enclose a poem of Miss Emily Dickinson's on the "Wind" thinking you might like to print it in some early number of the Century.  After her death in May last, we found she had left a mass of manuscript poems, which we shall undoubtedly publish at a suitable time. Col Higginson[,] Dr Holland, "H H" and many other of her literary friends, have long urged her to allow her poems to be printed, but she was never willing to face the world.1

Although Susan held out the possibility of a different future, she was continuing the pattern of the past: the publication of Dickinson's poems in mass media, one at a time.  Only the stature of the journal had increased, while the need for anonymity was gone.  Growing impatient, Lavinia also turned to Mabel Loomis Todd, who, though married herself, was intimately involved with Austin Dickinson, Emily's brother and Susan's husband.  Lavinia also approached T. W Higginson, Dickinson's longtime correspondent and friend, who had seen many of her poems.  Although he doubted enough suitable ones could be found for a volume, he promised to go over them if they were put into shape for consideration.
      From the start the goal of this effort was a volume of poems, not the publication of individual ones.  Accordingly, before making a selection, Mabel Todd, the wife of an Amherst College professor, copied or had copied all of the first seven hundred that Lavinia brought to her and in time transcribed hundreds more and organized the manuscripts.  It is not clear exactly how many reached Susan, or which ones, as she made no systematic lists, or for how long she had them, though Lavinia appears to have played dangerously by having manuscripts simultaneously in the hands of both women, whose relationship, at first embracing, had turned hostile.  Susan's marks are still evident on some manuscripts, and her transcripts survive for a number of others now lost.  The publication in 1890 of Poems by Emily Dickinson, edited by Mabel Loomis Todd and T. W Higginson, must have come as a bitter surprise, for she did not learn of it until near the end, not knowing before late September that her husband's mistress was co-editor.  The volume, published on 12 November, was an extraordinary success, surprising the publisher and delighting the sister and was followed in 1891 by another designated the Second Series,

      1.The Century Papers, New York Public Library.  The letter was published in Millicent Todd Bingham, Ancestors' Brocades: The Literary Debut of Emily Dickinson (New York: Harper 1945), 88n.


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again prepared by Todd and Higginson.  As the designation implied, an ongoing program had begun. "There will yet be ten volumes of her poems," Todd confided to her diary in early 1891,2 and she went on, unassisted by Higginson, to publish another series (1896) as well as an edition of letters (1894).
      If Todd and Higginson, urged on by Lavinia, shifted the publishing program from single poems to volumes, with nearly the whole corpus open to them, they continued other aspects of the editing that Emily Dickinson had known.  They gave titles to poems, which otherwise rarely had them (Appendix 6), adjusted texts to public standards of spelling, capitalization, and punctuation, and altered them in the interests of conventional usage and of clarity in rhyme, rhythm, and meaning. They differed at times on the titles — Higginson favoring them more than Todd — and on specific alterations.  Famously, over Todd's objection, Higginson insisted on changing the final line of "The grass so little has to do" (379): "I wish I were a Hay."

It cannot go in so; everybody would say that hay is a collective noun requiring the definite article.  Nobody can call it a hay!3

As they began to prepare the Second Series in 1891, Higginson, encouraged by the success of Poems (1890), proposed to his co-editor, "Let us alter as little as possible, now that the public ear is open."4  But the practice in the remainder of their work together, as well as in Todd's alone, was similar in kind to the first.
      The Third Series (1896) was the last of the nineteenth-century volumes. After Austin Dickinson's death in 1895, a quarrel developed between Lavinia and Mabel Todd over a strip of land, culminating in a much-publicized court case that Todd lost.  It ended her work on the manuscripts, leaving them divided between the two women.  Lavinia, who tried to continue on her own, found a copyist, Mary Lee Hall, and involved William James Rolfe, a Shakespearean scholar and family friend.  But the outcome was again publication in periodicals, not volumes.  A letter from Rolfe to Lavinia, dated November 1897, transmitted a rejection from The Outlook, dated two days earlier:

This was received today.
I shall now try Scribner and the New England Magazine.5

      2. Bingham, 106n.
      3. Bingham, 58.
      4. Bingham, 127.
      5. Martha Dickinson Bianchi Papers, Houghton Library, Harvard University (bMS Am 1118.96, box 1).


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Although Lavinia was reduced to the old pattern of piecemeal publication, she succeeded at times.  Four poems attributed to Emily Dickinson appeared in periodicals in 1897 and 1898.  For three of them (1787, 1788, 1789) no holograph is extant, but for one (1425) another manuscript exists, assuring the authenticity of the poem.  All are probably authentic, the publication effort of Lavinia on her own, assisted by Rolfe.
      Lavinia's death in 1899 stopped such publication, and the manuscripts passed to her niece and heir, Martha Dickinson, then thirty-two years old, who did not recognize that they were substantially unpublished.  It is perhaps a measure of the trauma of the circumstances that these manuscripts were not studied again for thirty years, by which time Susan Dickinson was dead and Martha Dickinson Bianchi was in her sixties.  In 1886 Susan had told Richard Watson Gilder about the "mass of manuscript poems, which we shall undoubtedly publish at a suitable time," but in 1899, with many of the manuscripts accessible once more, no effort was forthcoming, perhaps forestalled by advancing age, deaths, and the family troubles.  In 1890, after Lavinia took back the manuscripts, Susan turned to her own, those sent to her by the poet, and published "There came a day at summer's full" (325) in Scribner's, an appearance that, coming just a few months before the publication of Poems (1890), angered Lavinia, who believed herself the literary property owner.  Defiantly, Susan used her own manuscripts again in early 1891 to publish two more (132, 187) in the Independent. "I have many manuscripts, letters, poems, &c.," Susan told Samuel Hayes Ward, the editor, "which I mean to make up into a unique volume as I can command the time."6
      She died in 1913 without having done so.  It was her daughter, Martha Dickinson Bianchi, who published this material in 1914 in The Single Hound, largely made up of poems that had been sent to her mother, and in 1915 in an Atlantic Monthly article containing notes and letters, including some poems, that Dickinson had sent to her family.  Believing the material to be at an end, Bianchi undertook the task of consolidation.  She rearranged Letters (1894) and added a biographical account, including material from her 1915 article, issuing the result in 1924 as The Life and Letters of Emily Dickinson.  Also in 1924 she combined the three nineteenth-century volumes, edited by Todd and Higginson, and her own The Single Hound (1914) into what she called The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson.  It was not until the late 1920s that Bianchi, assisted by her companion, Alfred Leete Hampson, discovered that the manuscripts that had come to her from Lavinia contained many poems still unpublished.

      6. Bingham, 114.


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 Subsequently she released two new installments, Further Poems (1929) and Unpublished Poems (1935 ).  After each one she brought out a new collected edition, no longer naming it Complete.
      The Bianchi installments may be seen as the continuation of the three nineteenth-century series.  She rarely released Dickinson's poems to periodicals, except in promoting a forthcoming volume, a practice Todd and Higginson had also followed.  She issued the first collected edition of Dickinson's poems, believing that the "Series" had ended, and had to issue two more such editions, though she was in a position to know that Further Poems had not exhausted the stock.  She was the first to stop giving titles to poems, and in fact removed all of them from the nineteenth-century versions when she brought them into her collected edition in 1924.  Neither she nor Hampson was notably competent in dealing with Emily Dickinson's handwriting.  Her editions are marked by maladroit misreadings or errors (vanished for ravished, sums for Suns, did for died, screen for Screw, love for lore) and numerous alterations in the interests of sense and sensibility, but she refrained from extensively rewriting the poems as she published them, in particular leaving words to rhyme in the way Dickinson had.  Her texts were regularized as to spelling, capitalization, and punctuation, if sometimes idiosyncratic in lineation.  In her collected editions, they were joined by the altered versions from the nineteenth century, for Bianchi made only desultory attempts to compare texts with the manuscripts in her possession.  Her editorial and biographical work, deserving of serious study, was often scorned in her lifetime.
      Martha Bianchi may have died in 1943 without knowing, for sure, that other manuscripts existed.  To mark the Emily Dickinson centennial in 1930, Mabel Todd published an article on the early editing, and in 1931, in collaboration with her daughter, Millicent Todd Bingham, she brought out an expanded edition of the Letters —a direct challenge to Bianchi's Life and Letters (1924) — showing that, after all the years, the Todds were still to be heard from.  The portion of the manuscripts that had fallen to Mabel Todd in 1896, when the split came with Lavinia, remained in her possession, passing at her death in 1932 to her daughter.  With Bianchi no longer living, Bingham issued two books, Ancestors' Brocades: The Literary Debut of Emily Dickinson (1945), in which she documented the early editing, the lawsuit, and the ensuing confusion, and Bolts of Melody (1945), an edition containing over 650 unpublished poems, the last installment in the series that had begun in 1890.  The first cycle of Dickinson editing had ended, for nearly all the poems had now been published.  Bingham also did not title the poems or alter them, and, like everyone before her, she adjusted spelling, capitalization, and punctuation to public


5      Introduction





 norms.  The most impressive feature of the edition, aside from the great quantity of poems, was the accuracy of her transcriptions.  Many of the errors came from her having at times to use transcripts in lieu of holographs.
      Martha Bianchi was the last of the Dickinson line, Millicent Bingham, who died in 1968, the last of the Todd. In 1950 Alfred Leete Hampson, Bianchi's heir, sold the Dickinson papers to Harvard University, which thereby acquired claims to the manuscripts in Bingham's possession, along with those in Hampson's, and to the Dickinson literary property generally.  Bingham gave her manuscripts to Amherst College, and an agreement between the two institutions permits their remaining there.  The division of 1896 was made permanent.
      While the claims were in dispute, Thomas H. Johnson prepared a new edition of the whole.  Although the corpus of Dickinson's manuscripts was now available to an editor for the first time since the 1890s, he worked under difficult circumstances, seeing those in Bingham's possession on just two occasions, though he was allowed to have photostats of them.  The first literary scholar to edit Dickinson, Johnson published a three-volume edition, The Poems of Emily Dickinson (1955), a landmark in Dickinson studies.  His purpose was to publish all of the poems in a literal text, chronologically arranged, with the variant readings, which infested the published texts, critically compared with all known manuscripts.  The second editing for most of the poems, Johnson's work was the first collected edition of the whole —without titles and alterations and, in a major change, without a standardizing transcription.  He preserved Dickinson's spelling and, within the limits of conventional type, her capitalization and punctuation.  The poems had been dated and arranged chronologically rather than in topical or other groups, and for the first time the edition identified the manuscripts from which texts derived, giving the publishing history of each.  An outstanding achievement, Johnson's edition has been essential to Dickinson scholarship for over forty years.
      A few years later he brought out a one-volume edition, The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson (1960), with a single text for most of the poems, usually the one chosen for principal representation in 1955.  Its title, which Martha Bianchi had mistakenly used in 1924, was now appropriate.  The volume contained all of the 1,775 poems he had identified.  Although in 1955 Johnson had suggested that later editions could regularize spelling, capitalization, and punctuation, as Dickinson "would have expected had her poems been published in her lifetime,"7 the 1960

      7. Poems (1955), lxiii.


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text continued most of those features.  Some spellings (witheld, visiter) and misplaced apostrophes (does'nt) were made conventional.  Johnson's one-volume edition, from which he made a selection, Final Harvest (1962), has sustained general readers and students for almost four decades, though the nineteenth-century texts, now in the public domain, continue to be reprinted and sold.

The most prominent part of the manuscripts that Lavinia Dickinson found in May 1886 was the fascicles, her sister's own form of bookmaking: selected poems copied in ink onto sheets of letter paper that she bound with string. "I found, (the week after her death)," Lavinia wrote to a friend five years later, "a box (locked) containing 7 hundred wonderful poems, carefully copied."8 Although what Lavinia described would have been only a portion of the nearly eighteen hundred poems that Dickinson wrote, the number corresponds exactly to the first installment that Mabel Todd received from her. More came to Todd over the next four years-she was receiving them at least as late as 1891— until she had seen nearly everything.  In all Lavinia discovered forty bound fascicles, containing over eight hundred poems, and a good many fascicle sheets that had never been bound.  These unbound groups, called sets following the terminology of The Manuscript Books of Emily Dickinson (1981), brought the total to over eleven hundred. "Fascicle" was not Emily Dickinson's term.  It was introduced by Todd in Poems (1890) and has been retained because it has long served in referring to these homemade books.
      They are of simple construction. Dickinson copied poem after poem onto sheets of letter paper, already folded by the manufacturer to form a bifolium.  She kept the sheets separate — not inserted inside one another to form a larger signature — and thus copied them individually.  Sometimes the last poem ran over onto a separate leaf (twice onto the next full sheet) and on a few occasions onto a separate slip that was pinned, or in one case bound, into place.  These were extensions of the individual sheet, containing only the text that could not be accommodated on it.  To bind, Dickinson stacked the assembled sheets, with the overflow leaves (if any) in place, and punched two holes through the group, threading it with string, tied on the front.  She did not put her name on the fascicles, give them titles or title pages, or label, number or otherwise distinguish them.  They bear no pagination or signature markings to establish an internal order.  The poems are not arranged alphabetically, and there are no contents lists or indexes to aid in locating a particular one.  It is apparent that

      8. Poems (1955), xxxix.


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she did not keep them in a particular order and that browsing was the chief means of dealing with them.
      The fascicle construction began in 1858, but Emily Dickinson had shown an interest in poetry long before.  As early as 1845, when she was fourteen, she had assured her nearly equally young friend Abiah Root that "poetical" was "what young ladys aim to be now a days."9  Although in the next few years she commented on poetry in newspapers and books and enjoyed the friendship of Benjamin Franklin Newton, a law student in her father's office whom she later described as a formative influence, her earliest known poem is from 1850, when she was nineteen.  It is a valentine that invoked the Muses, "Awake ye muses nine, sing me a strain divine" (1), and in forty rollicking lines, impersonal and witty, teased Elbridge Bowdoin, a thirty-year-old bachelor practicing law with her father.  The poem's length and bravura suggest that it may not have been her first, though not a trace of an earlier one remains.  This valentine of showing her not only writing poems but also sharing them, was followed in 1852 by one to William Howland, "Sic transit gloria mundi" (2), also long and high-spirited. The next year she sent "On this wondrous sea" (3) to Susan Gilbert, her future sister-in-law, then visiting in New Hampshire, with an exhortation to "Write!" And in 1854 she placed "I have a bird in spring" (4) at the end of a troubled letter to Susan that began with the ultimatum "Sue - you can go or stay," late in the same year incorporating a variant of the final stanza into a letter to Elizabeth and Josiah Gilbert Holland.
      Contemporaneously with these poems, Dickinson became acquainted with Henry Vaughan Emmons, a member of the class of 854 at Amherst College.  Their friendship began during his sophomore year, about the time she wrote the valentine for Howland.  By spring 853 it had become literary, with poems exchanged.

       Since receiving your beautiful writing I have often desired to thank you thro' a few of my flowers, and arranged the fairest for you a little while ago, but heard you were away -
I have very few today, and they compare but slightly with the immortal blossoms you so kindly gathered me, but will you please accept them - the "Lily of the field" for the blossoms of Paradise, and if 'tis ever mine to gather those which fade not, from the garden we have not seen, you shall have a brighter one than I can find today.10

      9. R. W. Franklin, "Emily Dickinson to Abiah Root: Ten Reconstructed Letters," Emily Dickinson Journal, 4, no. 1 (1995), 15.
      10. Letters (1958), 246.


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Emmons acknowledged her "flowers" and Dickinson wrote again:

Thank you, indeed, Mr Emmons, for your beautiful acknowledgment, far brighter than my flowers; and while with pleasure I lend you the little manuscript, I shall beg leave to claim it when you again return.11

      If these notes refer to the same group of poems or to others that were similar the form in which she presented them to Emmons was a fascicle sheet: multiple poems ("arranged the fairest") on a "little manuscript" that she lent him.  It was perhaps something she had learned at Amherst Academy, where student writing was put out in a manuscript called "Forest Leaves," a form of juvenile journalism often hand-copied on single sheets of folded paper to form a volume. The relationship of Dickinson and Emmons, based on reading as well as writing, included the exchange of published books, but the "little volumes" to which she referred in a subsequent note may have been gatherings of her poems, arranged on individual unbound sheets of stationery.

Please recollect if you will, two little volumes of mine which I thoughtlessly lend you -12

Later Dickinson had to remind him of a loan yet unreturned, apparently poetry: "I look in my casket and miss a pearl - I fear you intend to defraud me." And she added, "Please not forget your promise to pay 'mine own, with usury.'"13
      In the early 1850s Dickinson was active as a poet, producing and sending poems to several people, Emmons perhaps foremost among them, but the next few years are void of verse.  Emmons graduated and — already engaged — left Amherst to pursue his theological education in Maine.  Ben Newton, who had moved to Worcester, died there in 185 3 — probably the person, as T. W Higginson learned from her later who taught her "Immortality - but venturing too near himself" never returned, the "dying Tutor" who wished to live until she had been a poet.14  No poems or references to them survive from 1855, when Dickinson visited Washington and Philadelphia and the family moved back to the Homestead on Main Street, from 1856, when she copied John Pierpont's poem "I cannot

      11. Letters (1958), 247.
      12. Letters (1958), 280, transcribed the last part as "thought Emily lent you -"; Jay Leyda, Years and Hours (1960), 1:292, as "thought Willy [Fowler?] lent you -"
      13. Letters (1958), 294-95.
      14. Letters (1958), 404, 408.


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Image of "If those I loved were lost" First Draft

 First draft of "If those I loved were lost" (Amherst College Library)


make him dead!" for Mary Warner, or from 1857.  There is no document by Dickinson of any kind from the last year.
      In 1858 Dickinson emerged from this obscurity with her first fascicle, a group of four sheets with twenty-seven poems.  Only one of the earlier poems was present: "On this wondrous sea" (3).  Not included were the valentines for Bowdoin and Howland (1, 2) and "I have a bird in spring" (4), the poem sent, in full and in part, to Susan Dickinson and to Elizabeth and Josiah Holland.  The poems she was sharing with Emmons are unknown and like most of the other early ones may not have crossed over into Fascicle 1.  If they did, they are likely to be among those on the first sheet copied:


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6      Adrift! A little boat adrift!
7      Summer for thee, grant I may be
8      When roses cease to bloom, sir
9      Oh if remembering were forgetting
3      On this wondrous sea
10    Garlands for queens may be
11    Nobody knows this little rose

Something regarding her poetry had changed for her as shown not only in the number of poems, which continued to grow, but also in the omission of the earlier ones.  There may have been a major stocktaking in 1858, a sifting and winnowing of her entire corpus — if there had not already been a destruction of manuscripts in the silent years preceding.
      Her workshop did have rules for destruction, though their purpose was orderly preservation.  The primary one was that when working drafts were copied to a later form, such as a fascicle, the drafts were destroyed.  Thus, none of them survives for the twenty-seven poems in Fascicle 1, with one exception, a rare one since it is the only worksheet for a poem in the forty fascicles.  This scrap of discarded stationery contains the first draft for "If those I loved were lost" (20).  Not expecting a long poem, Dickinson used only one panel of a small folded fragment, leaving the others blank.  Although there was ample room, if the piece were opened up or both outer panels used unopened, the text is crowded into place without concern for line conventions.  It is an example of Dickinson's regard for boundaries, which, repeatedly in her working drafts, determined the flow of pencil to paper.  In this one from Fascicle 1, she had the first line immediately, but the second required adjustment before she could go on; the rest came easily until the final line, which had to be recast.  The poem was then finished, except for the alternative reading for line 2 ("note"), which Dickinson resolved in favor of "voice" before the poem appeared in the fascicle:

If those I loved were lost
The Crier's voice w'd tell me -
If those I loved were found
The bells of Ghent w'd ring -
Did those I loved repose
The Daisy would impel me.
Philip - when bewildered
Bore his riddle in!

The composition of this poem was typically fast.  A few, like "Contained in this short life" (1175 ), required considerable drafting to capture a


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Image of "If those I loved were lost" Fascicle 1

"If those I loved were lost" in Fascicle 1 (Amherst College Library)






satisfactory result, but composition was generally swift, however much revision occurred at leisure.
      "If those I loved were lost" may not have proceeded directly to the fascicle. During the primary fascicle years there was also an intermediate state deriving from the initial worksheets. Dickinson would capture a poem on one piece of paper then copy it more formally onto another destroying the first and then, in turn, destroying the second when the poem had been entered into the fascicles from it — all consistent with her primary rule for destruction.  Two examples of this intermediate state survive precisely because they were not entered into the fascicles, again a rare exception.  They are the only working drafts from before 1862 that she did not transcribe in this way: "Mute thy coronation" (133) and "Did the harebell loose her girdle" (134).  The first is a "Master" poem, rhetorically addressed to a still unidentified person to whom Dickinson drafted three extraordinary letters and about whom several poems were written.

Mute - thy coronation -
Meek - my Vive le roi,
Fold a tiny courtier
In thine ermine, Sir,
There to rest revering
Till the pageant by,
I can murmur broken,
Master, It was I -

2 Meek -] low -

The other one, a meditation on sexual persuasion and acceptance, may be Master poem as well, though about an "Earl":

Did the Harebell loose her girdle
To the lover Bee
Would the Bee the Harebell hallow
Much as formerly?

Did the "Paradise" - persuaded -
Yield her moat of pearl -
Would the Eden be an Eden,
Or the Earl - an Earl?

These manuscripts are from 1860, although most Master poems do not appear in fascicles until later.  It may be that some of those were earlier in composition and that, for a time beginning about 1860, Dickinson was reluctant to enter poems of this kind.  A third intermediate manuscript, "A


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Image of "Mute thy Coronation" 

"Mute thy coronation" (Amherst College Library)

wife at daybreak I shall be" (185), also a Master poem, is from 1861, but was revised in 1862, with an ink fair copy resulting, and in 1863 was entered into Fascicle 32, probably from this draft. The latter action, which should have destroyed the intermediate state, did not. After she stopped making fascicles and sets with regularity, second (or later) drafts are frequently seen.  They are more formal than initial drafts, which often have a running script, but, like them, are recorded on odds and ends of paper.
      Throughout her life Emily Dickinson sent fair copies of poems to the people around her (Appendix 7), as "On this wondrous sea," the one she had dispatched to Susan Dickinson in 1853, then gathered into Fascicle 1, exemplifies. The relation of such poems to the fascicles was misunderstood in Poems (1955). "ED's custom," Thomas Johnson wrote, "was to send copies of her poems to friends after she had entered them in her packets, not before."15 He made this statement in relation to "The robin is the one" (501), which Higginson recalled receiving in the spring of 1863 while serving in the Union Army.  Because the set copy was clearly of later date, Johnson thought that Higginson had to have been mistaken as to the occasion.  But as "On this wondrous sea" indicates, copies for friends do

      15. Poems (1955), 627.


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"Did the harebell loose her girdle"

"Did the harebell loose her girdle" (Amherst College Library)





"A wife at daybreak I shall be"

"A wife at daybreak I shall be" (Amherst College Library)





precede the fascicle, in that special case by many years.  Common sense suggests that fair copies would have been sent near composition, when the poem was fresh and a particular occasion at hand, rather than later on, after the delay of fascicle production.  The famous poem given to Susan Dickinson, "One sister have I in our house" (5), probably on her birthday in December 1858, was not recorded in a fascicle until early 1859.
      Fascicle 1 offers an example in "Morns like these we parted" (18), a poem on the death of the one departing observed by the one who stays.  Dickinson also sent a copy to Louise and Frances Norcross and to Susan Dickinson, each of the three copies variant though fair.

        Norcross            Susan            Fascicle
6      And 'twas         And 'twas      It was
7     for                       from                from
8     for                       from                from
10   shutters             Curtains         curtains

Dickinson prepared the copies from her working draft, first sending one to the Norcross cousins, then, at a later moment, one to Susan.  In the second one she improved on lines 7 and 8, where "for" had appeared three times, and changed "shutters" to "Curtains" in line 10 ("One the Curtains drew -"). These differences were likely to have been evident in her draft, though not necessarily so.  When Dickinson recorded the poem on the fascicle sheet, she sustained the changes that had gone to Susan and introduced another in line 6 ("It was not for me -"), making "It" the message the dying could not tell:

Never did she lisp it -
It was not for me -          5

rather than something the speaker could not tell, as in the first two versions:

Never did she lisp it -
And 'twas not for me - 5

      When Dickinson transferred this poem to the fascicle, she destroyed the record of her process and the actions she had taken, but it is clear that the two copies she sent to family were earlier.  The relationships may be described with a stemma, characteristic of poems in the fascicles.


17      Introduction






The result was three variant fair copies, two of them of privately public occasion, having, during her lifetime, a history outside her workshop.  Further into her poetic career, when the fascicle copies no longer had to be finished versions, the fair copies sent to others may be succeeded by a fascicle copy with alternative readings.  Examples are "Before I got my eye put out" (336), "The grass so little has to do" (379), "The soul that bath a guest" (592), and "Two were immortal twice" (855).  Confident that she could produce fair copies as needed, she did not care that poems were unfinished in the fascicles, where they were sometimes simply the working draft transcribed.  The latest version, taken into the fascicles without intent to resolve the choices present on the working draft, may not he her most considered one, even though her record copy.
      Emily Dickinson took a long-distance interest in the fascicles, returning to them over many years.  From the first one, assembled in 1858, she sent a version of "As if I asked a common alms" (14) to T. W Higginson in 1862 and incorporated the same poem into the draft of a letter to an unidentified recipient in 1884.  The later copies were often variant, but as a practice Dickinson did not record the variants on the fascicle, as she did not with "As if I asked a common alms."  Such poems may have been reworked on a separate piece of paper.  If the form were distinctive (as in this letter draft from 1884), it might not be destroyed, but ordinarily it would have been discarded in order to avoid duplicate entry in the fascicles.  In many cases (as in this one to Higginson), the changes were brief enough, momentary inspirations, so as not to require additional paper.  In a well-known example from 1878, Dickinson extensively reworked "Two butterflies went out at noon" (571), presumably on a worksheet that she destroyed when she transferred the new text to another piece of paper. But her concern with the poem had not finished, and she set about revising the new manuscript, reducing it to a mass of possibilities, none of them canceled, though one was underscored, her usual method for indicating the preference of the moment.  The copy of "Two butterflies went out at noon" in Fascicle 25, dated 1863, from which this effort began, remained without a mark.


18      Introduction





Fair copies in ink began to appear in her pool of manuscripts in early 1861, when she made three: "Nobody knows this little rose" (11), "Who robbed the woods" (57), and "South winds jostle them" (98), the first from Fascicle 1 (1858), the second from Fascicle 2 (the 1859 part), and the last from Fascicle (1859).  Of similar paper and handwriting, these manuscripts might have been intended for sending, then retained, though two have not been folded, and only one may have been miscopied (II).  They may contain poems that attracted Dickinson while browsing, so that she extracted them from the growing scale of the fascicles, where only additional browsing would have located them again.  Or they may have been made for the pleasure of doing so.  Whatever the reason for these, which came from fascicles, others began to appear from other sources. "My river runs to thee" (219), also from early 1861, derived from the working draft, which she did not destroy, leaving it intact for entry into Fascicle 9 about spring 1861.  If she had destroyed the draft, she would have created an anomalous condition in that duplication might result from transcribing into the fascicles from ink fair copies — or it might not. While she continued to make such copies, she ordinarily ignored them when making fascicles.
      The stemma for Dickinson's workshop when fascicles were involved may be generalized:


Although this pattern prevails, particular instances may vary, as they do with "If those I loved were lost," for which, against the odds, a work-sheet [X] survives for a poem in Fascicle 1, and with "Mute thy coronation" and "Did the harebell loose her girdle," where intermediate drafts [Y] survive.  The copies of "Morns like these we parted" that went to the Norcross cousins and Susan Dickinson are examples of A, while the one in ink of "My river runs to thee" is an example of B.  The copy to Higginson of "As if I asked a common alms" is an example of D, the pencil draft of it to an unidentified person in 1884 and the three retained fair copies of 1861 examples of F.  The reworking of "Two butterflies


19      Introduction





went out at noon," which had a preceding draft between it and the fascicle (C), is represented by G.  When Dickinson copied manuscripts, A, B, D, E, and [Z] did not destroy preceding ones, but [Y], C, F, and G did.
      Dickinson's care in preparing the earliest fascicles, which admitted only completed poems, all their alternative readings resolved, shows the goal to have been a finished product.  She used clean erasure, not overwriting or crossing out, and deftly squeezed in omitted letters.  Before 1860 she did not revise on them.  The first appearances of extraneous writing are in Fascicle 5, where an omitted reading was transcribed in ink as an alternative (121), and in Fascicle 7, where for two poems (145, 159) an alternative was added in pencil.  Later on, beginning in 1862, she did come to revise on them, even destroying an unfavorable poem about Susan Dickinson (1274).  These instances, largely actions of the 1870s and 1880s, were not many—about fifteen—and can sometimes he linked to fair copies sent to others: "Blazing in gold and quenching in purple" (321) and "The days that we can spare" (1229) to Higginson are among them.  Many of the variant copies that could have resulted from such revision are not extant, either because Dickinson sent none or they are now lost, or she was revising simply for herself, turning the fascicles into worksheets with no other purpose in mind than her own interest in the poems (as, under quite different circumstances and to a far greater extent, she may have done with "Two butterflies went out at noon").
      There is no evidence that the fascicles that Dickinson began producing in 1858 left her hands.  Unlike those she exchanged with Emmons, which clearly did, these appear to have been always private documents, not shared with others, not even close family, who were surprised to learn of them at her death. The "little manuscript" and the "two little volumes of mine" of which she spoke to Emmons in 1853 and 1854 appear to have been individual sheets, containing a few poems on each, unbound.  The fascicles that began in 1858 were groups of sheets that, though perhaps copied in a similar way, were bound together.  They would have been far more impressive, had Emmons been able to see them, at least the early ones would have been.  As of Fascicle 9, in early 1861, they would have been unsuitable for circulation.  The transcription, though in ink, was less careful, and the texts, now with unresolved readings, were not intended for others.
      In 1858 the idea of a bound volume appears to have been slow in coming. The sheets constituting Fascicle 1 were copied at different times during the summer and were bound in a different order from that in which copied.  On the final sheet Dickinson appears to have been cleaning up, taking in various pieces lying at hand, including small ones such as "In


20      Introduction





the name of the bee" (23), "We lose because we win" (28), and "To him who keeps an orchis' heart" (31), and recording them without lines of separation since each consisted of but a single stanza. Fascicle 1, which is consistently of one paper type, may have been bound upon completion of this sheet, the fourth, or binding may have come a little later.  What is certain is that the autumn brought two more sheets, on two different kinds of stationery but constructed much like the earlier ones: multiple poems, copied in ink on a bifolium of stationery, with lines of separation again between them.  In 1859 these two sheets would become part of Fascicle 3.  But first Dickinson copied four more sheets, one in 1858, three in 1859, and bound them as Fascicle 2. It was composed of a consistent form of stationery, different from any so far. These were followed by two more sheets on the same stationery, which, together with the two left from 1858, she bound to form Fascicle 3, made up of three paper types.  Fascicle 4, also from 1859, used only one kind of stationery, but a different one yet.  As of Fascicle 5, Dickinson was working with a large batch of stationery.  Whereas she had used five kinds of paper in the first four fascicles, she made the next four from one kind.  She had found her model and, confident that poems would come, laid in plenty of stock.  The poems did come, and every month or so she would prepare another sheet.  With nature as a frequent subject, the seasons roll through these sheets, which were copied over time and, after four had been produced, bound in an order different from the one in which copied (Appendix 4).
      Fascicles 5 through 8 occupied Dickinson steadily from the summer of 1859 until the summer of 1860. Then something halted her course: there were no more fascicle sheets for the rest of the year.  Although the earliest of the Master letters is from spring 1858, and some Master poems appear in the early fascicles, it was the second half of 1860 when the first one, "Mute thy coronation," along with "Did the harebell loose her girdle," appeared and never disappeared into a fascicle.  The relationship it treats is "revering" but covert, with disclosure ("broken") only after postponement:

Till the pageant by,
I can murmur broken,
Master, It was I -

By 1861, the year of two anguished Master letters, when some of the fascicle poems may derive from late 1860, the supposed person of the poems has come to see herself as "wife."  One poem began, "A wife at daybreak I shall be" (185), another (225) declared:


21      Introduction





 I'm "wife" - I've finished that -
That other state -
I'm Czar - I'm "Woman" now -

During 1861 Dickinson turned to Samuel Bowles for support, sending him another of the bridal poems, with a concluding note ("Here's what I had to 'tell you' - you will tell no other? Honor - is it's own pawn -"):16

Title divine - is mine!
The Wife - without the Sign!
Acute Degree - conferred on me -
Empress of Calvary!

Of these poems only "I'm 'wife' - I've finished that" entered a fascicle in 1861.  "A wife at daybreak I shall be" reached one in 1863, while the other three, remarkably, remained outside the fascicles.  In some uncertain way, they stand near the disorder that came into her workshop from late 1860 until early 1862.
      When Dickinson resumed fascicle making in early 1861, the goal was no longer finished poems, as it had been up to the summer of 1860.  Although her output was reasonably continuous, her method had changed.  Not only did alternative readings begin to appear, but sometimes the manuscripts were a single leaf with a single poem, not a bifolium with many.  She now left many sheets and leaves unbound, with the result that the fascicles that eventually came of them were of mixed paper and date:

H 201-202 from early 1861, bound with H 200 and H 203-204 from the second half of 1861 to form Fascicle 10

H 72 from early 1861, bound with H 109-112 and H 75-77 from early 1862 to form Fascicle 12

H 33 from the summer of 1861, bound with H 32, H 34-38, and H 220 from late 1861 to form Fascicle 11

These manuscripts from 1861 may have remained unbound into 1862.  Only Fascicle 9, copied from early spring 1861 through summer has a consistent paper type.  It could have been bound at any time after the summer (Appendix 4).
      By early 1862 the fascicle idea had itself come apart, as Dickinson began to copy single poems in ink onto fine notepaper.  Smaller than letter stationery, generally bifolia but sometimes only leaves, these manuscripts were formal records of individual poems.  They would have been suitable

      16. Letters (1958), 394.


22      Introduction





 for sending to others, except that, like the fascicles, not all were fair copies. "Again his voice is at the door" (274) appears on a small bifolium of embossed notepaper, laid out in ink and a deliberate hand but with alternative readings interlined in the same ink and script for seven of its lines.  In making such copies, Dickinson appears to have given up on the fascicles, for she destroyed the working drafts from which fascicles would have come.  Working drafts in pencil, not fair copies or other drafts in ink, were what made their way into those gatherings.  These new manuscripts, supplanting fascicles at the time, did not enter therein (though one did later):

274       Again his voice is at the door
276      Civilization spurns the leopard!
277       Going to her!
279       Of all the souls that stand create
280       The world stands solemner to me
281      Me change! Me alter!
287      While it is alive (also in Set 6b, about 1865)

      Another kind of poem did not reach the fascicles: impromptu verse, lines included in letters or quickly dispatched, for which Dickinson ordinarily kept no copies.  Examples may he cited from one of the Master letters of 1861, where in her revision she added two lines of verse nowhere else recorded:

No Rose, yet felt myself a'bloom,
No Bird - yet rode in Ether -

from a letter to Samuel Bowles in 1862:

Let others - show this Surry's Grace -
Myself - assist his Cross -

and from one to T. W Higginson in 1863:

Best Gains - must have the Losses' test -
To constitute them - Gains.

Often short and epigrammatic, they are reminiscent of the odds and ends that Dickinson tucked onto the last sheet transcribed for Fascicle 1: "In the name of the bee" (23), "We lose because we win" (28), and "To him who keeps an orchis' heart" (31). While they do not persist in the fascicles, Dickinson continued to write them, chiefly for letters, though there are examples for which no letter is known, as for "The blood is more showy than the breath" (1558).  Some neither short nor epigrammatic


23       Introduction





were probably also dashed off, without record, outside the workshop. Early examples are "When Katie walks, this simple pair accompany her side" (49), a burlesque from 1859, and "'Mama' never forgets her birds" (130), Dickinson's message of reassurance to her Norcross cousins in 1860 on the death of their mother, her Aunt Lavinia.
      Dickinson began her correspondence with T. W Higginson after reading his "Advice to a Young Contributor" in the Atlantic Monthly for April 1862.  On the fifteenth she mailed him a note, enclosing four poems and a card with her name, asking if her verse were alive. The poems had been gleaned from fascicles and others already on paper, with the exception of "We play at paste" (282), which may have been written in response to Higginson's article.  As illustrated by "Morns like these we parted," Dickinson often sent poems to recipients near the time of composition, and "We play at paste" appears to have been of this character.  It was never copied into the fascicles, but the other three enclosed on the fifteenth were already there.  For the five letters—sixteen poems—that she sent him by August, Dickinson often returned to earlier work, reaching back to Fascicle 1 (1858), twice to Fascicle 5 (1859), and to fascicle sheets from 1861, perhaps still unbound, as well as some from 862 that certainly were.  She was reciting for him, signing herself "Your Scholar" in her letters of July and August.  By then she was using current poems drawn from working drafts.  The correspondence continued until the month of her death in 1886, and although she went back over her work for him on later occasions, she also sent him and his wife many poems of the moment to be read personally.  Late in her life, she also recited for Thomas Niles, head of Roberts Brothers, who had expressed an interest in her poetry.  In 1883 she sent him poems deriving from 1862, 1864, 1865, and 1879, as well as two or three recent ones, but this relationship, unlike that with Higginson, never settled into the poetry of communication.
      In the summer of 1862, perhaps under the innocent influence of Higginson, whom she later called her "safest" friend, one who had "saved" her life,17 a new sense of order took hold in Dickinson's workshop, lasting until 1864.  She returned to fascicle making with high energy, once again obtaining large quantities of stationery and, beginning with Fascicle 16, producing twenty-six new ones in a steady rush.  Only three paper types accounted for seventeen of them.  With such volume she may have by-passed many intermediate drafts, going directly from worksheet to fascicle, as cancellations, lines standing apart, transpositions, confusion in presentation, and a profusion of alternative readings, including their tran-

      17. Letters (1958), 563, 460.


24      Introduction





 scription in multiple groups, suggest.  Six bifolia became the norm, with additional leaves used for overflow, not for single poems.  The copying and the binding were now close to each other, as indicated by the handwriting, which no longer permits the fascicles to be unpacked, and by Dickinson's use of leaves for overflow.  These leaves were bound, not pinned into place, and to keep the proper relation among the sheets and leaves, binding would have had to come soon after copying was finished.  She gathered up the unbound fascicle sheets in her pool, going back as far as 1861 (one taken into Fascicle 14 was, anomalously, a manuscript from 1858, the poem already in another fascicle), taking until autumn to accomplish it.  Once started, she continued in high volume through 1863 and into early 1864, with each of the last three fascicles on a different paper as though she were winding down. In late 1863 she left two new sheets unbound (Set 1 ), reminiscent of what she had done in 1858-59 (Fascicle 3), and with the final three fascicles (40, 38, 39) there are four leftovers that she never bound (Sets 4, 2, 3).  Her peak year, long thought to be 1862, was 1863, when she copied or wrote nearly three hundred poems, most of them recorded in the fascicles.  The year 1862, split between old and new ways, had over two hundred (Appendix 2).
      The apparent winding down, followed by the end of bound volumes, was related to her eyes.  After a preliminary visit to Boston in February 1864 to see Dr. Henry Williams, a well-known ophthalmologist, Dickinson returned in April for treatment, staying in Cambridge with her Norcross cousins until Thanksgiving. "I was ill since September" she wrote to Higginson, "and since April, in Boston, for a Physician 's care - He does not let me go, yet I work in my Prison, and make Guests for myself."18 Dr. Williams forbade the use of pen and ink ("Can you render my Pencil? The Physician has taken away my Pen," she continued to Higginson), which she had been feverishly employing for nearly two years.  Her notes and letters at this time are entirely in pencil, as are her poetry manuscripts, those guests she made for herself.  She returned to Cambridge for further treatment in 1865, and while she continued to send pencil messages to friends, she returned to transcribing her poems in ink onto fascicle sheets, never again binding them (Sets 5, 7, 6).  It was a deliberate restraint, for she stopped using a leaf for overflow and returned. to pinning the additional material to the fascicle sheet, thereby assuring that the relationship of the pieces was secure.  Though entered in the sets of 1865, some poems were from 1864—"Partake as doth the bee" (806), for example, was sent to her cousin Perez Cowan, who noted it in his diary, and "To this world

      18. Letters (1958), 431.


25      Introduction





she returned" (815 ) to Gertrude Vanderbilt, who had recovered from a pistol wound — and there were surely more than can now he identified.  Knowledge of what had accumulated may have prompted her to lay in large batches of stationery: the three sets are made up of only three paper types, fifty-five sheets accommodating some 250 poems, the equivalent of nine or ten bound fascicles. Sometimes there were poems from much earlier times, as though Dickinson were cleaning up the workshop once again. These go back to as early as 1861, from which she drew "'Tis anguish grander than delight" (192), and there are others from 1862, including "A burdock twitched my gown" (289), and from 1863, including "The robin is the one" (501).
      Dickinson began 1866 with a retrospective look at her poems, as she had done on other occasions, as in the three retained ink fair copies from 1861 and the first poems for Higginson. She made copies of a larger number this time — eight remain, drawn from two fascicles of 1862 and the three sets of 1865 — and enclosed others in letters to Higginson that ran from January to June. The poems she enclosed came from a fascicle of 1862, another of 1863, the three sets of 1865, as well as a poem not in any fascicle or set.  Retrospection was appropriate, for the beginning of 1866 marked the effective end of fascicle making.  Something that had begun in 1858, seen disruption in 1860 and renewal in 1862, disruption in 1864 and return in 1865, had ended for her.
      The next four years are without fascicles or sets or even many poems, only ten to twelve in each of the years from 1866 through 1869, almost like the silent years from 1855 through 1857.  In 1870 she returned to making individual fascicle sheets (Sets 8-12, 15, 13-14), but it was an occasional occupation and lasted only until 1875.  During these later years, except for the last two, when illness was debilitating, her output rose again, but never reached earlier levels. She continued to work with first and second drafts and to produce retained copies prepared more formally, as if for a recipient.  With fascicle making no longer dominant, the stemma for her workshop became briefer:


While the stemma was simpler, the manuscripts themselves, a proliferating disarray of scraps of paper, were not.  Except when she made the occasional fascicle sheet that became the late sets, thereby reverting to the earlier stemma, with its destruction of working drafts, the primary record


26      Introduction





was the second draft, which had previously been intermediate to the worksheet and the fascicle. For the last decade she made no fascicle sheets and near the end grew indifferent to making even second copies, with a number of poems surviving in their initial draft, laid down in a large running script.

This edition is the third editing from manuscript for most of the poems. Like its predecessors, it takes license to make public what Dickinson herself never did, honoring the interests of history over her reticence.  Although she complained only once, censuring a question mark in "A narrow fellow in the grass," she invested no direct authority in any text published in her lifetime.  An editor's task therefore is to turn to her manuscripts and against criteria that were never explicitly hers prepare texts for the public.  The criteria can vary, as they have throughout the publishing history.  The altered versions of the nineteenth century were immensely successful, as were the editions of Martha Dickinson Bianchi and Millicent Todd Bingham in the twentieth.  All of them are historical and of interest, for the contemporaneous culture absorbed Dickinson's work in those forms—alterations, misreadings, and all. For most of his career, Robert Frost knew Dickinson's work only in this way.  What he knew was collaboration, Dickinson-Todd-Higginson in the nineteenth century and other combinations in the twentieth.  While involvement is inevitable—all editors exercise judgment—some Dickinson editors have been more innovative than others, though the course of events has brought increasing fidelity to what Dickinson wrote. This edition, affirming this direction, which reached distinction in the Johnson edition of 1955, seeks to intrude minimally and therefore turns again to the manuscripts, accepting them as their own standard, almost the only record we have of her intentions.
      Like every previous appearance of Dickinson's poems, beginning with "Sic transit gloria mundi" (2) in 1852, this edition is based on the assumption that a literary work is separable from its artifact, as Dickinson herself demonstrated as she moved her poems from one piece of paper to another.  Even the fascicles, her most formal organization of her work, were the source for further copies. There can be many manifestations of a literary work.  Hers was manuscript, this one is typographical.  Others, like The Manuscript Books of Emily Dickinson, are in facsimile or like The Master Letters of Emily Dickinson, in facsimile and type.  Although this edition is a printed codex, it has an electronic database — the poems are in bits and bytes; other outputs are possible, including other printed editions, organized or presented differently.  Dickinson and Hypertext


27      Introduction





may be well matched, and images are particularly useful with an unpublished poet who left her poems unprepared for others.  Whatever the ongoing course of Dickinson editing, standard typography will have continuing utility.  Even with digital images, where the poems are in pixels, an editor will need typography to explain the relationship of images and to transcribe the texts, confirming what the eye sees but may not understand and disclosing what the eye, unaided, cannot detect.
      Included in this edition are the poems found in Dickinson's possession at her death as well as those sent separately to others, enclosed with letters, or incorporated into letters as poetry.  The intent is to present a separate text for each known manuscript.  Dickinson invested individual manuscripts with identities of their own, even if, for all their variance, she thought of them as representing a single poem.  "Morns like these we parted" was sent to the Norcross cousins and to her sister-in-law as well as copied for Fascicle 1, the only record Dickinson retained after destroying the draft from which all three manuscripts derived.  The result was three fair copies with separate histories, including two that passed beyond her control.  She preserved hers, as did her sister-in-law, while the Norcross cousins, closely protective, apparently had theirs destroyed.  As her stemmata suggest, Dickinson handled "Morns like these we parted" as a single poem, maintaining relationships among manuscripts while creating and destroying manuscripts herself.  Since nearly every text differs in some respect from all others, each has been presented individually, gathered within a single entry.  A poem as extensively revised as "Two butterflies went out at noon" is treated as one poem having two variant manuscripts.
      For the 1,789 poems, there are nearly 2,500 texts, but the number of Dickinson's manuscripts was much greater.  Fascicle 1, for example, contains twenty-seven poems, with twelve more manuscripts known from other sources, bringing the total represented in this edition to thirty-nine.  Another twenty-six certainly existed at one time, for Dickinson did not compose onto the fascicle sheets, and only one of the extant manuscripts is a working draft ("If those I loved were lost"). It is certain that there were at least sixty-five manuscripts for these twenty-seven poems.  There could have been as many as ninety-two, if Dickinson had also made an intermediate draft for each of them.  She may not have needed one for short poems such as "To him who keeps an orchis' heart," and during her intense push from mid-1862 to early 1864, some of the poems in fascicles appear to have come directly from worksheets, bypassing intermediate drafts.  A third of her poems are not in a fascicle or set, while some of the late poems never progressed beyond an initial draft.  One cannot say exactly how many manuscripts she produced for these 1,789 poems, but


28      Introduction





the number may have been twice what we know, as many as 5,000 manuscripts, instead of 2,500.
      When there is more than one text for a poem, no principal representation has been made.  Dickinson did not do so in her workshop, not even in the fascicles, where unfinished texts —those with alternatives pending — can follow fair copies sent to friends, all of them deriving from the same working draft.  The latest documents for a poem may be incomplete or shaped to specific occasions, and her copies to friends have individual histories with claims of their own. Principal representation implies choice for a particular purpose: an edition of the fascicles would have to choose those manuscripts, an edition of poems sent to a particular recipient, those.  The aim of this edition is a comprehensive account, not a selection for a specific end. Within individual entries, the texts are presented without priority, sequenced chronologically.  When sequence is not clear, as when manuscripts are missing and the text incomplete, convenience of presentation may be followed instead.
      Most of the poems derive from manuscripts that were in Dickinson's possession at her death, but more than six hundred manuscripts, representing a few over five hundred poems, had been sent to others. They are tabulated by recipient in Appendix 7.  For some recipients the quantity has increased: Catherine Scott Turner Anthon, the Samuel and Mary Bowles family, James Clark, Martha Dickinson, Gilbert Dickinson, T. W Higginson and his wife Mary Channing, Elizabeth and Josiah Gilbert Holland, the Jonathan and Sarah Jenkins family, Thomas Niles, Catherine Sweetser, Mabel Todd, Sarah Tuckerman, Gertrude Vanderbilt, and Maria Whitney.  The largest increase is for Louise and Frances Norcross, whose number has risen from twenty-five to seventy-one, though not a holograph remains.  The identification has been based on transcripts Frances made in the 1890s, many of them with a full text but others with only the first line or two.  Though sometimes incomplete, they expand our understanding of the strength and character of Dickinson's relationship with these cousins, with whom she corresponded and remained intimate all her life.
       The quantity for some recipients has declined, with small adjustments for Perez Cowan, Austin Dickinson, Ned Dickinson, Emily Fowler Ford, Mary Haven, and William Howland.  The major decrease has been for Susan Dickinson, who, with about 250 still identified, remains by far the most frequent recipient of Dickinson's poems. A few new ones have been identified for her, chiefly from manuscripts that have come to light in recent years, but these have been more than offset by the reductions.  Some the manuscripts that Lavinia brought to her after Dickinson's death


29      Introduction





"Two lengths has every day"

Part of "Two lengths has every day" (Houghton Library)

were not returned, remaining in Susan's possession until they passed to Martha Dickinson and finally to Harvard, mixed with Susan's own.  Some of these are rough working drafts, such as the bit of envelope containing lines beginning "Eternity will be."  Bianchi reproduced it in facsimile in Emily Dickinson Face to Face (1932), there described as a "note" and as "written on the flap of an envelope and sent to 'Sister Sue.'"19  It is, however, a working draft of the second stanza of "Two lengths has every day" (1354), including an alternative reading for one of the words.  The manuscript of the poem that Susan actually received survives at Harvard (H 367), a fair copy with three stanzas.  Although Thomas Johnson let some of these strays stand as having been sent to Susan, he at times found himself unconvinced.
      The manuscripts that Dickinson sent to Susan can be identified by various characteristics, most certainly so when they were addressed to her, folded, and signed "Emily"— or were unsigned but so addressed and folded.  Others, though not addressed, have scribbles from Susan's children (by 1886 they would have been too old) or quotidian messages from Susan to herself (shopping lists, mathematical calculations).  Unaddressed manuscripts that Susan received may also be signed "Emily," or be written formally in ink on a bifolium of notepaper of a customary kind, or

      19. Martha Dickinson Bianchi, Emily Dickinson Face to Face: Unpublished Letters with Notes and Reminiscences (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1932 ), facing 260.


30      Introduction





have pinholes where something had been attached, perhaps a flower, when the manuscript was dispatched.  They may have messages added in Dickinson's hand.  Her working drafts—in pencil on irregular scraps of paper, scavenged from household waste — lack formal features and, for the manuscripts in question, often lack a copy that remained in Dickinson's possession.  Working documents with alternatives and cancellations, they are unlike the documents that Dickinson sent out of the workshop, even in the one critical exchange she is known to have had with Susan about a poem: all of the versions of "Safe in their alabaster chambers" (124) that Susan received in 1861 were fair copies, one in ink, one in pencil, each on a bifolium of her notepaper with messages added to them.
      Before Lavinia reclaimed them, Susan transcribed some of the manuscripts brought to her after Dickinson's death.  The texts for fifty-nine of the manuscripts represented by her transcripts are now found among the undated poems (numbers 1686-1744), because the holographs that Lavinia reclaimed have been lost, For a dozen others, another holograph is extant to place the poem in the chronology.  These lost manuscripts were not Susan's own, as indicated by the fact that her own copies survive for some of the same poems.  It is improbable that Susan transcribed those of her own that, coincidentally, she subsequently lost and that, coincidentally, they were also those for which Dickinson herself did not have a copy.  Susan's transcripts indicate that she was at times copying from working drafts, as in "If I could tell how glad I was" (1725), where she first transcribed "help it with a" in line 4, then canceled it and interlined "mould it into."  In line 6 of "They talk as slow as legends grow" (1732) Susan first transcribed "Retardedly a" and then canceled it, continuing below with "Predestined to."
      Mabel Todd, to whom Lavinia turned when Susan's progress did not satisfy, copied a number of poems for which no manuscript is now known as well as a number with only a different holograph extant, for she also returned to Lavinia manuscripts —that appear to have perished.  Today Lavinia's portion of the manuscripts were divided in 1896 between Todd and her — contains no individual poems or drafts, only fascicles or sets, except for four artificial groupings that Todd made up to fill vacancies in her numbering scheme (her 33, 35, 36, and 38) when in 1891 she created two groupings of the manuscripts—one in her possession, one in Lavinia's.  Except for the four artificial assemblies, the only individual manuscripts to survive were in Todd's possession, a large number, and about twenty that had not been returned by Susan.  Everything of this kind that Lavinia had in the years immediately before her death in 1899, including each of the poems published in periodicals with the assistance of


31 Introduction





William James Rolfe, has vanished, as scraps of paper that look like trash might. One must be grateful for Susan's transcripts, for they represent manuscripts, now lost, that she returned to Lavinia.
      When Dickinson incorporated poems into her letters, there is often independent evidence that the passages are poetry.  The opening of "The only news I know" (820) was worked into a letter to Higginson, and there is also a copy of the poem in Fascicle 27.  They were often written as poetry in both letter and independent copy, though if the lines were few, they might join the rest as prose.  Sometimes there is no verification that she regarded a passage as poetry except for the way in which she wrote it.  For poems, whether separate or incorporated into letters, she observed convention by capitalizing first words of lines.  In her early poems, when her handwriting was small and the paper proportionately large, she had no turnovers, but about 1860, as the handwriting became larger, turnovers appeared on smaller pieces of notepaper.  The extra part she placed on the next physical line, flush left, without capitalization unless it were capitalized anyway.  An example from a Master letter of 1861 is "No rose, yet felt myself a'bloom" (190), where the first line is broken, with the turnover occupying but a portion of the space available.

No Rose, yet felt myself
No Bird - yet rode in Ether -

This pattern for lines is similar to the longer one of her paragraphs, which begin without indentation and flow on until finished, leaving blank space at the end. As her handwriting expanded, unused space declined, and in time the lines in poems took up more than two physical lines, as many as four or five in the 1870s and 1880s.
      For inclusion in this edition, passages from the letters meet one or two conditions.  They have independent verification as poetry by having other appearances that confirm it, or they were incorporated as poetry in Dickinson's customary way, or both.  These conditions, which rely upon her own indicators, omit passages with qualities of verse: cadence, rhyme, metaphor, apostrophe, poetic genre, and heightened statement are some of them.  Readers since the nineteenth century have noted the poetic character of her prose.  William Shurr, who extracted nearly five hundred -passages from the letters, published them as New Poems of Emily Dickinson (1993), but worked only from the printed versions in Letters (1958), without an understanding of the manuscripts.  Only a few of what he identified are included in this edition.  The criteria here, though her own, do not establish an exclusive canon, for there is no definitive boundary


32      Introduction





"No rose, yet felt myself a'bloom"

"No rose, yet felt myself a'bloom" in Master letter (Amherst Library)




between prose and poetry in Dickinson's letters.  At times she may have surprised herself to find prose becoming verse. "Would you like summer? Taste of our's" (272) began this way, but soon she was inscribing it as poetry.
      The distinction between genres was Dickinson's own.  She maintained a workshop for the production, distribution, and recording of poetry, but separated letters from it.  Unlike the poems, she kept no record of those produced, except for a few remaining drafts.  Although she enclosed poems with letters and incorporated them as well, she did not bring letters into the fascicles or into other records of her poetry, for she recognized letters as a separate genre, basically prose, but admitting of known poems and, on occasion, impromptu verse.
      The examples of her poetry incorporated into letters before 1858 are easily detected, since they were set apart and inscribed without turnovers.  But certain passages in these letters suggest that poetry is not far away.  Thomas Johnson included some in his editions, among them a well-known high-spirited extraction from 1851 beginning "there is another sky." A comic note, not in Poems (1955), began "A little poem we will write unto our Cousin John" as if announcing a poem, but perhaps only as herald.  One of the texts is a brief valentine, another a riddle.  Since there is no pattern for this early period beyond the incorporation of poems into letters as set pieces, these passages have been excluded from the main part of this edition but included in Appendix 13
      Available space ordinarily determined the physical line breaks in Dickinson's poems.  As illustrated by "If those I loved were lost," she respected boundaries, in that case confining the draft within one half of what would have become available had she used both outer panels.  Constraints such as the edges of the paper, the presence of a boss, stains or imperfections, or the overlaps of envelope construction would redirect her pencil or pen.  The shapes of her materials— odds and ends of wrapping paper, advertising flyers, notebook leaves, discarded stationery — gave physical contour to her poems as they went onto paper.  A draft of "The mushroom is the elf of plants" (1350) was recorded on the inside of a yellow envelope, set on point with the horizontal measure increasing then diminishing.  The poem began at the peak, with only the first word laid down before line breaks began.  Altogether, four were required for the first line.  The measure expanded until no additional ones were needed, then contracted until three were required by the last line.  There are many examples in which two or more copies of the same poem appear on papers of different shapes, yielding different line breaks for each, as in "She sped as petals from a rose" (897), "Art thou the thing I wanted" (1311), and "If wrecked opon the shoal of thought" (1503). These were working drafts,



34      Introduction





"The mushroom is the elf of plants" 

"The mushroom is the elf of plants" (Amherst College Library)

but the same effect occurs on more formal copies, such as those sent to others and those recorded in the fascicles.  The former was typically on notepaper, the latter on stationery of larger size, yielding different configurations.  Once line breaks began, it is not easy to find a manuscript of any poem in Dickinson's hand that exactly matches the physical lineation of the same poem in other copies.
      Unconstrained by incidental characteristics of the artifact, this edition


35      Introduction





restores the lines, though also recording the turnovers, along with passages from the letters placing the text in context.  For clarity of presentation, prose and poetry are indented differently.

I forgot the Redemption and was tired no more

No Rose, yet felt myself a'bloom,
No Bird - yet rode in Ether -

Division      1 myself |

The vertical bar ( | ) indicates line breaks beyond those implicit.  In this example there is one after "myself" in addition to the two after "a'bloom," and "Ether -". Where lineation has been arbitrarily established, as in poems appearing as prose but arranged as verse, the situation in the manuscript has been acknowledged by the symbol "no|":

If those I loved were lost,

Division      1 loved |       1 lost, no|

Word division, occurring at line ends, is part of this record:

Philip when bewildered -

Division      7 bewildered] bewil - | -dered

Page or column breaks, which can come within lines as well as at the ends of them, even dividing words, are indicated by double vertical bars ( || ) in a fashion similar to the single bar.  The record of word division has been gathered into Appendix 10.
      With Dickinson's custom as the standard for representing her texts, this edition follows her spelling and, within the capacity of standard type, her capitalization and punctuation.  Although some genetic information is reported, as well as some physical characteristics of the manuscripts, the aim is to present the multiple texts of poems, not their documents or artifacts, as the reuniting of words divided by end-line hyphenation, part of the larger restoration of broken lines, indicates.  To maintain a clear text, the record of lineation, including word division, appears as part of the apparatus, not as part of the text itself.  The record of division is separate from the record of emendation, a term used for substantive changes, and a few of punctuation and indentation, introduced by the editor and similarly recorded in the apparatus for a text.
      For six damaged holographs, readings have been supplied from other sources, creating a critical text, but for most incomplete documents, where the loss is larger or indeterminate, the text has been presented only to the extent that the source permits, sometimes only a line, as in the


36      Introduction




Norcross lists.  Holographs have been emended to correct miswritings (appal, Bargmen, Bavest, bemumbed, beyoned, etc.) and other readings inconsistent with her custom, again creating a text that is not identical with any surviving document.  One holograph, here emended, begins "The Life we have is verg great" (1178):

The Life we have is very great

Emendation      1 very] verg

The supplied omissions, which only occasionally are a letter or a word, include opening or closing quotation marks and apostrophes in contractions (hadst, Youll) and possessives (Eternitys, Loves). Secondary sources—transcripts by various hands or published texts — reflect the habits, style, and errors of the copyist or publishing house. They have been emended to conform with Dickinson's practice, including her spelling, which changed over the years.  Her form, for example, was extasy until 1873, opon until 1880, etherial, Savior, show, and shown until the end.  The emendations have been gathered into Appendix 11.
      The dating of the poems, which often differs from that of Poems (1955), takes into account the later work of Thomas Johnson and Theodora Ward in Letters (1958) and of Jay Leyda in The Years and Hours of Emily Dickinson (1960). Various kinds of evidence have been adduced in assigning a date to a manuscript.  The most certain is definite association, as in the enclosure of "We play at paste" (282) in her first letter to T. W Higginson, postmarked 15 April 1862, or in writing "'Mama' never forgets her birds" (130) on the death of her Aunt Lavinia Norcross in 1860, or in Sarah Tuckerman's docketing, with the date, of a number of poems that she received in the late 1870s and the 1880s. While Dickinson's papers are mixed in many years — she apparently had several kinds at hand — they follow patterns.  The laid paper embossed with a queen's head (America) above the letter L was largely from 1861; the same design wove paper ran from about August 1861 until about August 1862.  From 1860 until late 1862, Dickinson also used notepaper with the word PARIS within an eight-sided device.  From late 1862 until 1866 the same word appeared within a horizontal oval, with both "Paris" papers reappearing in subsequent years. The paper watermarked A PIRIE & SON | 1866 was prominent in 1870-71, the same with "1870" in 1872-73, the same with "1871" in 1873-74, while the same with "1862" appeared in 1863, 1866, 1869, 1871, 1873, and, heavily, in 1875-76. Although such evidence alone can rarely date a document, paper patterns have been of substantial assistance when considered with other evidence, such as handwriting.


37      Introduction





       Dickinson's handwriting changed with remarkable frequency, especially in the early years, permitting most fascicles before mid-1862 to be unpacked and the pattern of their construction, sheet by sheet, to be seen.  Some forms changed more than others, with single letters such as b, B, d, e, f, F, G, H, I, p, P, w, W, y, and Y and frequently occurring combinations such as and, ee, for, ght, if, ing, it, of, the, to, with, and you among the most helpful. Dickinson's signatures (Emilie and Emily in various styles) were indicative of period, as were her methods of writing quotation marks.  As her handwriting increased in size, it separated into individual letters, a characteristic that can point to date. By 1871 the ligatures em and en had largely separated, as had al and am by 1872 and an, ar, at, and av by 1873.
      The present dating has had an advantage not enjoyed by Poems (1955) in that it was accomplished after the reconstruction of the fascicles reported in The Manuscript Books of Emily Dickinson (1981).  The sequence of the fascicle papers, if not always of specific fascicles, was thus already known, and the fascicles and sets, containing about two thirds of the poems, have been a sturdier base upon which to study handwriting and assign dates than a series of individual manuscripts. Another advantage is that the dating was done after the Dickinson materials were available in libraries, so that recurrent access could be had as needed.  Thomas Johnson, working from photostats and unclear as to the paper patterns of the manuscripts in Millicent Bingham's possession, scattered the sheets of the sets to different years.  For those of the 1870s, having cut up his photostats to handle the poems individually, he lost track of the structure of the sheets themselves, dating the poems on a given sheet erratically, those on one of them in Set 14 assigned to three different years in contrary-order: about 1877, early 1876, and about 1873.
      While Mabel Todd divided Dickinson's handwriting into three phases —early, middle, and late — and Bingham refined them somewhat, Johnson, in conjunction with Theodora Ward, who had done pioneering work on establishing a chronology for the letters to her grandparents, aspired to date the poems year by calendar year.  For the early ones this goal can be exceeded, with season or section of the year indicated, though two difficult points are the crossing between 1861 and 1862, where the exact line is hard to establish, and the crossing between 1864 and 1865, where Dickinson's pencil work in Cambridge yielded to fascicle sheets in ink again.  Thereafter as fascicle sheets become less frequent, leaving documents to be studied and treated individually, dating becomes more difficult.  For the last decade there is a far larger quantity of datable letters than for any earlier period, and the proportion of the poems included in


38      Introduction





 them increases, but these advantages are offset by other circumstances. The papers Dickinson used were not her own but household scraps with out discernible pattern (a few establish period by historical association); the handwriting changed less extensively, however well documented it is; and more manuscripts are in her running script, showing fewer distinctions than her more formal hand in either pen or pencil.  The assignment of dates at the end of her poetic life is less certain than at the beginning.  It should be clear that dating is a judgment, albeit an informed one, subject to imprecision that increases across time.
      The dating is of documents, not necessarily of the composition of poems.  In the early years, between 1858 and 1860, when fascicle making was orderly, the fascicle copies of poems succeeded composition by only a month or two.  When the patterns became disorderly in 1861, the relation between the time of composition and the fascicles remained close, except that some of the poems in 1861 may have derived from the gap in late 1860, when Dickinson ceased transcribing them.  In 1861 fascicle copying was also less comprehensive, leaving some working drafts to he entered into fascicles years later, as in "A wife at daybreak I shall be" (185). Although from mid-1862 into early 1864 the fascicles could contain poems from earlier years, the high volume and the short duration between fascicles as well as the pattern of other copies sent to friends and family that were near to the fascicle itself suggest that for most poems, composition and fascicle copying were close.  The sets of 1865 (5, 7, 6), which show signs of cleanup in Dickinson's workshop, with poems from earlier years appearing in them, probably also mask activity of 1864.  Some of the guests Dickinson made for herself while staying with her cousins are probably now unidentifiable because copied into the sets of 1865.  The sporadic effort associated with the sets of the early 1870s does not suggest a lag between composition and the subsequent copying: these were poems of the time, incidentally embraced, not earlier ones transcribed as part of systematic effort. One of them is known to date from late in the preceding year (1183), another from seven years earlier but substantially changed (1022).  Dickinson's working drafts — first drafts followed by second ones that consolidate what had been accomplished initially — are close to each other, that for poems not found in a fascicle or set, there is no substantial distinction in time between composition and copying. Such drafts constitute most of her later workshop.
      In dating the poems, some letters have been redated also (Appendix 12), notably the earliest to Samuel and Mary Bowles, with whom Dickinson's correspondence began in 1859, not 1858. Myra Himelhoch detected this a number of years ago, basing her argument on the sequence of Mary


39      Introduction





 Bowles's miscarriages and on an informal appraisal of paper and handwriting.20 A detailed examination sustains her general conclusions, though departing from some specifics.  The notepaper of the Bowles letters places them in 1859, as do characteristics of the hand. The absence of the "wavy" | that is pervasive throughout the summer and fall of 1858 (as in Fascicle 1) and the presence of an open w (as in Fascicle 2 and the 1859 part of Fascicle 3) place the initial visit of the Bowles family as June 1859.  They were then on a trip to cheer Mary Bowles, who was recovering from a miscarriage.  It appears to have been Dickinson's first meeting with her, though Samuel had been a visitor earlier.
      The overall organization of the poems is chronological, with the earliest known manuscript determining the year of entry.  Cross-references are provided in Appendix 3 ("Later Manuscripts") to entries that also have manuscripts from a later year as in these references from 1862:

See also
1858          14
1859          98, 112, 124
1860          172
1861          185, 197, 204, 217, 236, 243, 262

Although holographs survive for most of the manuscripts, about 280 texts derive from secondary sources (Appendix 8). Most of them can be dated by association with extant holographs or by historical circumstances.  The 104 that are not datable have been placed at the end of the chronology as numbers 1686 through 1789, grouped by source.
      Within years, the poems are in two sections: those not in fascicles or sets of that year and those that are.  This division improves the view of Dickinson's workshop for the fascicle years, especially those of high volume, when other activity may thus be more readily seen, such as impromptu verse, poems such as the fair copies of 1862 that supplanted fascicles, or poems such as "Mute thy coronation" and "Did the harebell loose her girdle" that never crossed over into a fascicle or set.  In the years preceding 1858, again in 1866-69, and finally in 1876-86, when there were no fascicles or sets, there is but one section.  The individual drafts and copies were her fundamental activity and thus come first; the fascicles and sets, which were later record keeping, follow.  Because the earliest known copy determines year of entry, the fascicle section is not necessarily a complete record of any fascicle or set.  Appendix 5 lists the poems in the order in which they appear in The Manuscript Books of Emily Dickinson,

      20. Myra Himelhoch and Rebecca Patterson, "The Dating of Emily Dickinson's Letters to the Bowles Family, 1858-1862," Emily Dickinson Bulletin, no. 20 (March 5972), 1-20.


40      Introduction





where the internal order of the fascicles was established, along with the group of sheets making up each of the sets.
      Texts deriving from fascicles or sets are identified to the right of the first lines, with their position in the fascicles indicated after the period (F23.4). Position is not so indicated in the sets, where internal order; if any, is unknown (s5).
      The entries have two sections: Manuscripts and Publication.  Following a summary of their number, date, and condition, the manuscripts are presented individually and chronologically.  They may be assumed to be in ink, unless otherwise noted.  Locations are given, including certain numbers assigned to Dickinson papers at the Amherst College Library, the Boston Public Library, and the Houghton Library of Harvard University, prefixed by A, BPL, and H respectively (as in A 291, BPL 25, H 220). The individual texts are given as fully as possible from the available documents, even if only in part, not cited or summarized as in Poems (1955). They are enumerated alphabetically, with those deriving from secondary sources indicated by placing the alphabetic character in brackets. The three sources for "Morns like these we parted"—a Norcross transcript and two holographs — are thus identified as [A], B, and C. When two secondary sources represent a single holograph, they are identified in the manner of [A.1] and [A.2].
      When page breaks divide texts in this edition, the texts may be assumed to continue without a stanza break, unless indicated otherwise by the symbol  at the foot of the page.
      The texts may be followed by alternative readings, aspects of the inscription, or both.  Multiple alternative readings for a lemma are separated by a bullet (•). When a line number is followed by a bracket, the entire line constitutes the lemma.

With the austerer sweet -    4

4 the] an - • this -      4] With this sufficient Sweet    4 With]
the W over <T>


Angled brackets enclose canceled readings.  Any text, including the alternatives, was subject to revision, as in Dickinson's change of a line in "The wind begun to rock the grass" (796).

The Cattle flung to Barns -    14
Revision      14 flung] canceled; fled interlined above

Unless otherwise noted, revision was in pencil.  There follows, as applicable, an account of line and page division and of emendation, labeled Division and Emendation respectively.  When texts of a poem vary sub-


41      Introduction





stantively among themselves, the variants are summarized in a statement or table.
      From the information given, it is possible to quote texts in several ways — in their emended or unemended state, with or without their physical line breaks, as first written on the document or as later revised:

The Life we have is very great

The Life we
have is very great

The Life we have is verg great

The Life we
have is verg great

The Cattle flung to Barns -

The Cattle
flung to Barns -

The Cattle fled to Barns -

The Cattle
fled to Barns -

      The underscoring of words, which has only one appearance in manuscript, served two functions and has two typographical renderings: underscoring and italics.  Among alternative and revised readings, where Dickinson underscored to indicate a preference, it is represented by underscoring itself (occasionally by the editorial description "underscored").  The preference was sometimes momentary. Some drafts have conflicting choices marked in this way, as Dickinson, incompletely satisfied, moved through a series of possibilities.  But underscored words were sometimes so copied from drafts into the fascicles and, from there, governed choices for subsequent fair copies. In the texts of poems, where Dickinson used underscoring for emphasis, the words are set in italics, a representation that she recognized, referring to italics in several letters and poems.  Elsewhere italics have been used only for editorial explanation:

2 sow] the so over <h> and another letter      11 little tremor]
little interlined above tremor

Throughout the editorial apparatus, the word over indicates that one reading was superimposed upon another; occupying the same space, canceling the reading underneath.  The words above and below mean, respectively, higher and lower on the page in relation to a cited reading.


42      Introduction





      The publication information includes appearances in the primary editions as well as first printings elsewhere.  Cited from the early publication history are the three nineteenth-century Poems (1890, 1891, 1896) and the three early twentieth-century volumes: The Single Hound (1914), Further Poems (1929), and Unpublished Poems.  Not cited, unless required by special circumstances, are the Bianchi collections that followed each of the last three: Complete Poems (1924), Poems (1930), and Poems (1937). The publication history continues through Poems (1955) and Complete Poems (1960), whose poem numbers—(J132), for example —are given at the end of the descriptions and are indexed separately.  Later editions, to 1997, are also cited if they are substantially based on primary materials. The editorial selection among alternatives that produced a given text is noted, along with variations in line or stanza arrangement.
      Following the publishing history is an account of variants in the published texts, including alterations, misreadings, and some differing editorial judgments. Changes in spelling, capitalization, and punctuation, along with evident typographical errors, are passed over, unless they create different substantives or; in a few instances, are in texts intended to be literal.

A      7Where] When AM29 FP29 P30 P37 7 dye] die AM29 FP29 P30 P37 P55 CP60       8 Hemlocks] hundreds AM29 FP29 P30 P37

The codes are mnemonic, as in these for Further Poems of Emily Dickinson (FP29) and the collected editions of Poems that appeared in 1930 and 1937 (P30 P37). A list of short titles for the principal editions and a table of their codes follow. Other codes may be readily inferred, as in AM29, which refers to "Atlantic Monthly, 143 (March 1929), 329" in the publication information.
      Symbols have been used to identify the principal institutions holding Dickinson material. Other institutions and individuals are cited briefly in the text and named in full in the Acknowledgments.



43 Introduction