letters from dickinson to bowles

Thomas Johnson's Note on Letter 257

MANUSCRIPT: Hooker. Ink.

PUBLICATION: Poems (1955) 533-534. A variant of the poem was first published in 1891. There is no stanza break.

The dating of the letter is based solely upon handwriting, and in Poems (1955) is assigned to the year 1861. It may indeed have been written in either 1861 or 1862. It is possible that the poem is associated with the death of Frazer Stearns. The event was especially shocking to all who knew him. Samuel Bowles wrote Austin and Susan Dickinson (HCL-Dickinson collection): " . . . and then the news from Newbern took away all the remaining life. I did not care for victory, for anything now." (Newbern was a Union victory.)

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Commentary copyright 1998 by Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved
Maintained by Lara Vetter <lvetter@uncc.edu>
Last updated on February 25, 2008