poems sent from dickinson to higginson
Thomas Johnson's Note on Poem 1362
MANUSCRIPT:This poem concludes a letter (BPL Higg 97) written to T.
W. Higginson about August 1876. It does not there have application to
anything in the text of the letter. A penciled variant of the lines is in a
discarded letter (Bingham l00-5) of the same date written, but never sent, to
an unidentified correspondent. Though ED drew canceling strokes through it,
she did not destroy it:
Thank you for the Delight. The Book is fair and lonely, like a Memoir of
Of his peculiar light
Wc keep one ray.
To clarify the sight
To seek him by.
Here the lines are adapted to a particular circumstance. Having scrapped the
letter, she used the verve of the sheet for rough drafts of two poems: "A Field
of Stubble lying sere," and "How much the present moment means."
PUBLICATION: Letters (ed. 1931 only), 298.
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