poems sent from dickinson to higginson

Thomas Johnson's Note on Poem 318

MANUSCRIPTS: There are two fair copies. That reproduced above (BPL Higg 5) was one of the four poems ED enclosed in her first letter (BPL Higg 50) to T. W. Higginson, posted on 15 April 1862. The other copy, written about 1860, is in packet 37 (H 202a).

I'll tell you how the Sun rose-
A Ribbon at a time!
The Steeples swam in Amethyst!
The news like squirrels ran!

The hills untied their Bonnets!
The Bobolinks begun!
Then I said softly to myself
"That must have been the Sun"!


But how he set, I know not!
There seemed a purple stile
Which little yellow boys and girls
Were climbing all the while-

Till when they reached the other side-
A Dominie in gray
Put gently up the evening bars
And led the flock away!

Ed drew a horizontal line between the second and third stanzas. The texts are identical except for one word:

11. Which] That

PUBLICATION: Poems (1893), 94, titled "A Day." The text derives from the packet copy. The horizontal line is represented by a series of dots; the italics are not retained.

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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 2, 1998