poems sent from dickinson to higginson

Thomas Johnson's Note on Poem 1293

MANUSCRIPT: The copy reproduced above was incorporated in a letter (BPL Higg 85) written to T. W. Higginson in the spring of 1876. Another copy in pencil (Bingham 1OO-13), written at the same time, is identical in text. Dashes end lines 5 and 6, line 9 has no punctuation, and "Discipline" (line l0) is not capitalized. A third copy (Bingham 98-2-4), in ink, was written some months earlier, about 1874:

The Things we thought that we should do -
We other Things have done
But those peculiar Industries
Have never begun.

The Lands we thought that we should seek
When large enough to run
By Speculation ceded
To Speculation's Son -

The Heaven in which we hoped to pause
When Chivalry was done
Impassable to Logic
But possibly the one.

ED seems to have revised the third stanza at a somewhat later date, possibly shortly before she incorporated the poem in the letter to Higginson, for in pencil these interlinear changes are made:
The Heaven in which we hoped to pause
   Tyranny   Discipline
When [strikethrough: Chivalry] was done
[strikethrough: Impervious] Untenable
[strikethrough: Impassable] to Logic
But possibly the one.

PUBLICATION: The letter to Higginson is in Letters (ea. 1931 only), 296.

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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 15, 1998