poems from dickinson to elizabeth dickerman

Thomas Johnson's Note on Poem 1618

No autograph copy of this unpublished poem is known. It exists in two variant transcripts. That reproduced above is in the possession of Miss Elizabeth S. Dickerman. It is a message which was sent to her mother with a basket of mayflwoers. The Rev. George S. Dickerman was pastor of the First Congregational Church from June 1883 until 1891. The poem could not therefore have been sent before the spring of 1884. The variant transcript below is in a letter (New York Public Library) from Mrs. F. H. Mills to Genevieve Taggard, 7 January 1930, which states that it accompanied an arbutus basket that ED sent to her neighbor Mrs. R. H. Mather:

There are two Mays,
And then, I must,
And then, perhaps, I shall.
How infinite the compromise
That indicates I will!

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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