poems sent from dickinson to higginson

Thomas Johnson's Note on Poem 1210

MANUSCRIPT: The copy reproduced above (BPL Higg 39) was one of three poems enclosed in a letter to T. W. Higginson (BPL Higg 67) written in December 1872. Another fair copy (Bingham 98-1-9), written at the same time, is identical in text:

The Sea said "Come" to the Brook -
The Brook said "Let me grow" -
The Sea said "Then you will be a Sea" -
"I want a Brook - Come now" -
The Sea said "Go" to the Sea -
The Sea said "I am he
You cherished" - "Learned Waters -
Wisdom is stale to me"-
On the verso are the final four lines, crossed out, of the poem beginning "Now I knew I lost her."

PUBLICATION: SH (1914), 120. The text reproduces the first stanza only, and probably derives from a copy now lost, sent to Sue. The text of the gingham copy is in New England Quarterly, XX (1947), 31. Because Mrs. Bingham suspected a slip of the pen, line 5 is altered to read: "The brook said 'Go' to the sea."

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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