poems sent from dickinson to higginson

Thomas Johnson's Note on Poem 327

MANUSCRIPTS: The fair copy reproduced above (H Am 58) was one of the two poems enclosed in a letter (BPL Higg 55) to T. W. Higginson, written in August 1862. The semifinal draft (H 17la), in packet 32, was written at the same time:

Before I got my eye put out-
I liked as well to see
As other creatures, that have eyes-
And know no other way-

But were it told to me, Today,
That I might have the Sky
For mine, I tell you that my Heart
Would split, for size of me-

The Meadows - mine -
The Mountains-mine-
All Forests - Stintless Stars -
As much of noon, as I could take-
Between my finite eyes-

The Motions of the Dipping Birds-
The Lightning's jointed Road-
For mine - to look at when I liked-
The news would strike me dead-

So safer - guess - with just my soul
Upon the window pane
Where other creatures put their eyes-
Incautious-of the Sun-

15. Lightning's jointed Road] Morning's Amber Road-

The suggested change is adopted in the fair copy; otherwise the texts are identical.

PUBLICATION: Poems (1891), 60-61, titled "Sight." The text, arranged as five quatrains, derives from the packet copy; the suggested change is rejected.

return to poem 327 | 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 2, 1998