poems sent from dickinson to higginson

Thomas Johnson's Note on Poem 1353

MANUSCRIPT: The copy above (BPL Higg 30) is reproduced from the autograph enclosed with four other poems in a letter to T. W. Higginson (BPL Higg 83) written in January or February 1876. Another fair copy (H 380a) written about the same time is identical in text and form except that it is without punctuation at the end of lines 1 and 5, and has a dash, not a period, at the end of line 2. The worksheet versions of this poem are extant. The first (Bingham 98-4A-14), written in pencil presumably about January 1876, is jotted down on both sides of a scrap of stationery:

The last of Summer is a time
For chastened Retrospect-
'Tis Ecstasy's revealed Review-
Enchantments Postulate -
To meet it-nameless as it is
Without celestial mail
Audacious as without a Knock
To walk within the Vail-

3. revealed] divine/ sublime/ revered    4. Postulate] Testament/ Syndicate
3. revealed Review-] revealed Review

"Divine," "sublime," and "revered" are crossed out. Attached to the worksheet by a pin is a smaller scrap with suggeseed changes for lines 1 and 2:
The last of Summer is Result - Survey
    close        Deligh t
Subdued to Retrospect-

She has almost arrived at her final version. On a half sheet of stationery, in ink, she began again (Bingham 94-17):
The last of Summer is Delight

At that point she stopped. With that to begin the poem, and adopting the underlined "Syndicate" for line 4, she produced her fair copy without further changes.

PUBLICATION: The text in FP (1929), 85, derives from the second fair copy (H 380a). In the published version the last word of the poem is rendered "vale." A version constructed from the worksheet is in New England Quarterly, XX (1947), 49.

return to poem 1353 | index to dickinson poems sent to higginson

search the archives

dickinson/higginson correspondence main page | dickinson electronic archives main menu

Commentary copyright 1998 by Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved
Maintained by Lara Vetter <lv26@umail.umd.edu>
Last updated on October 20, 2000