poems sent from dickinson to higginson

Thomas Johnson's Note on Poem 1356

MANUSCRIPT: The copy reproduced above (H 348) was probably written early in 1876. Another fair copy (BPL Higg 41) was one of five poems enclosed in a letter to T. W. Higginson (BPL Higg 83) written in January or February 1876. The first eight lines are identical in text and form with those above; the remaining lines are rendered as a separate stanza thus:

prohibit him -
Lawful as

A third copy, now lost, survives only in a transcript made by Sue (H ST 8b). It is without stanza division and the text of the first eight lines is identical with that above. The conclusion varies slightly:
Or decree prohibit him
Lawful as Equilibrium -

PUBLICATION: Poems (1891), 156, titled "The Rat." The text, which follows the copy to Higginson, is arranged as three quatrains. One word is altered:

9. prohibit] prohibits

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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