poems sent from dickinson to higginson

Thomas Johnson's Note on Poem 1487

MANUSCRIPT: There are two. The copy reproduced above (BPL Higg 47) was enclosed with three other poems in a letter to T.W. Higginson (Porter) written in the spring of 1881. The letter designates it by title as "Christ's Birthday," and the copy of the poem is so endorsed by Higginson on the upper left margin.

Another fair copy (Bingham 97-3) written perhaps about Christmas 1880 is identical in text but slightly different in form:

The Savior must have been
A docile Gentleman,
To come so far, so cold a Day.
For Little "Fellowmen."

The Road to Bethlehem
Since he and I were Boys,
Was leveled, but for that 'twould be
A rugged Billion Miles -

A third copy, now lost, was sent to Sue.

PUBLICATION: Atlantic Monthly, CXV (1915), 38: the text, identical with those above, derived from the copy to Sue, which is said to have been sent at Christmas with an iced cake. It was again printed in LL (1924), 60. It was first collected in the Centenary edition (1930), 377, arranged without stanza division.

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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 24, 1998