poems sent from dickinson to higginson

Thomas Johnson's Note on Poem 1183

MANUSCRIPT: There are three autograph copies of this poem, all written late in 1871. The copy reproduced above is in packet 95-13 (Bingham). The copy to T. W. Higginson (BPL Higg 26) was one of four poems enclosed in a letter (BPL Higg 74) written in October or November. The text is identical with that of the packet copy. Minor differences of form are that lines 5 and 8 are without punctuation; commas follow "dwell" (line 6) and "subsist" (line 7). A copy of the first stanza only to Sue (H 322) is in pencil, signed "Emily-." Its third line is a variant:

Step lightly on this narrow spot -
The broadest Land that grows -
Is not so ample as the Heart
These Emerald seams enclose -

PUBLICATION: Poems (1891), 185, titled "Epitaph." It follows the text of the packet copy. One word is altered:

5. be] is

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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 February 21, 2000