poems sent from dickinson to higginson

Thomas Johnson's Note on Poem 1566

MANUSCRIPT: The copy reproduced above (H 385), signed "Emily," was sent to Sue at the time of Gilbert's death, 5 October 1883, and kept by Sue among the notes then sent her. Some five months later ED incorporated a variant of the lines in a letter (BPL Higg 107) to T. W. Higginson's three-year-old daughter Margaret on the anniversary of the death of Margaret's infant sister Louisa, who had died 15 March 1880. This variant is introduced by the phrase

In memory of your Little Sister

and the lines are arranged as prose: Who "meddled" with the costly Hearts to which she gave the worth
and broke them - fearing punishment, she ran away from Earth -

PUBLICATION: The copy to Sue is unpublished. The copy to Margaret Higginson is in Letters (ed. 1931 only), 321, among the letters to Higginson and is arranged as a quatrain.

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Commentary copyright 1998 by Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved
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Last updated on December 12, 1999