poems sent from dickinson to bowles

Thomas Johnson's Note on Poem 690

MANUSCRIPTS: The copy reproduced above, in packet 24 (H 132b), was written about 1863. It is a redaction perhaps, written some two years later, of the version which constitutes a letter (Hooker) written to Samuel Bowles in 1861. The letter has a salutation: "Dear Mr. Bowles." and is signed "Emily." The poems reads:

Victory comes late,
And is held low to freezing lips
Too rapt with frost
To mind it!
How sweet it would have tasted!
Just a Drop!
Was God so economical?
His Table's spread too high
Except we dine on tiptoe!
Crumbs fit such little mouths -
Cherries - suit Robins -
The Eagle's golden breakfast - dazzles them!
God keep His Oath to "Sparrows",
Who of little love - know how to starve!

The letter is unpublished.

PUBLICATION: Poems (1891), 49. Lines 12 and 14 are printed as two lines each.

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Commentary copyright 1998 by Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved
Maintained by Lara Vetter <lv26@umail.umd.edu>
Last updated on October 16, 1998