poems sent from dickinson to bowles

Thomas Johnson's Note on Poem 834

MANUSCRIPTS: There are two, both written about 1864. That reproduced above is in packet 86 (Bingham 35g). A second copy (Bingham), in pencil and signed "Emily -," was sent to Samuel Bowles. It is variant in the last two lines:

Before He comes, We weigh the Time,
'Tis Heavy, and 'tis Light -
When He departs, An Emptiness
Is the superior Freight.

PUBLICATION: The copy to Bowles, arranged as a six-line stanza, is in Letters (ed. 1894), 208; (ed. 1931), 198; also LL (1924), 236. The alternative reading "Prevailing" (line 4), which Mrs. Todd gives in a footnote in the 1931 edition, she derived from the packet copy.

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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