poems sent from dickinson to bowles

Thomas Johnson's Note on Poem 223

MANUSCRIPTS: There are two, both written about 1861. The copy reproduced above (Bowles), signed "Emily -," was sent to Samuel Bowles. It is identical in text with the copy in packet 8 (H 34) below, and has adopted the suggested change for line 3.

I came to buy a smile - today -
But just a single smile -
The smallest one upon your cheek
Will suit me just as well -
The one that no one else would miss
It shone so very small -
I'm pleading at the counter - sir -
Could you afford to sell?

I've Diamonds - on my fingers!
You know what Diamonds - are!
I've Rubies - like the Evening Blood -
And Topaz - like the Star!
'Twould be a Bargain for a Jew!
Say - May I have it - Sir?

3. cheek] face

PUBLICATION: FP (1929), 140. The text derives from the packet copy, and the suggested change is rejected. The two final lines are arranged as a separate stanza.

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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