poems sent from dickinson to higginson

Thomas Johnson's Note on Poem 1433

MANUSCRIPT: There are two, both written in 1878. The fair copy reproduced above is incorporated in a letter (BPL Higg 106) written to T.W. Higginson early in June 1878, some nine months after the death of his wife Mary Channing Higginson. The poem is introduced by the comment:

That those have immortality with whom we talked about it, makes it no more mighty - but perhaps more sudden -

The worksheet draft (Bingham 104-55) from which the fair copy derives is jotted down on a scrap of stationery:
Upon what britde Piers
Our Faith cloth daily tread -
No Bridge below cloth totter so
Yet - none hath such a Crowd-

It is as old as God -
Indeed -'twas built by him -
He sent his son to test the Plank
And he pronounced it firm -

I. brittle] fickle/ trif[l]ing   4. Yet] And

ED did not adopt the changes suggested in the rough draft, and she altered the first two lines in the fair copy.

PUBLICATION: The letter to Higginson is in Letters (ed. 1894), 328; (ed. 1931), 310; also LL (1914), 307.

return to poem 1433 | 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 September 24, 1998