poems from dickinson to catherine sweetser

Thomas Johnson's Note on Poem 1296

This poem was sent as a message to Catherine Dickinson Sweetser - "Aunt Katie" - presumably sometime in February 1874. Her husband Joseph A. Sweetser disappeared on 21 January 1874, and all newspapers carried the story. He walked out of his home in New York City and no clue to the disappearance or his subsequent fate was ever forthcoming. The letter was on exhibit at the Jones Library in Amherst in 1935, at which time a transcript of it was made. The present location of the letter is unknown. It is here reproduced from the Jones Library transcript made by Kate Dickinson Sweetser. The letter begins:

Saying nothing, My Aunt Katie, sometimes says The Most.

The poem follows and is signed "Emily."

PUBLICATION: Kate Dickinson Sweetser, Great American Girls (1931), 135; BM (1945), 249, arranged as two quatrains.

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Commentary copyright 1998 by Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved
Maintained by Lara Vetter <lvetter@uncc.edu>
Last updated on March 3, 2008