poems sent from dickinson to higginson

Thomas Johnson's Note on Poem 1207

MANUSCRIPT: This poem survives both in worksheet and final draft. The fair copy reproduced above (BPL Higg 3a) was enclosed in a letter to T. W. Higginson (BPL Higg 67) in December 1872. The worksheet draft (Bingham 104-17), in pencil on a half-sheet of stationery, reads thus:

He preached about [printed below: upon] Breadth till [strikethrough: we] [printed below: it] knew [printed below: argued] [strikethrough: he was] [printed below: him] narrow
The Broad are too broad to define
And of Truth until it proclaimed him a Liar
The Truth never [strikethrough: hoisted] [printed below: flaunted] a sign
Simplicity fled from his counterfeit presence
As Gold the [printed below: a] Pyrites would shun
What confusion would cover the innocent Jesus To meet so [strikethrough: learned] [printed below: Religious][printed below: enabled][printed below: so accomplished][printed below: discerning][printed below: accoutred][printed below: established][printed below: conclusive] a man-
[left margin: at meeting]

PUBLICATION: Poems (1891), 63, titled "The Preacher." It follows the text of the fair 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 September 10, 1998