letters from dickinson to higginson

late May 1874

I thought that being a Poem one's self precluded the writing Poems, but perceive the Mistake. It seemed like going Home, to see your beautiful thought once more, now so long forbade it- Is it Intellect that the Patriot means when he speaks of his "Native Land"? I should have feared to "quote" to you what you "most valued."

You have experienced sanctity.

It is to me untried.

Of Life to own-
From Life to draw-
But never touch the Reservoir -

You kindly ask for my Blossoms and Books‹I have read but a little recently‹Existence has overpowered Books. Today, I slew a Mushroom -

I felt as if the Grass was pleased
To have it intermit.
This Surreptitious Scion
Of Summer's circumspect.

The broadest words are so narrow we can easily cross them-but there is water deeper than those which has no Bridge. My Brother and Sisters would love to see you. Twice, you have gone - Master -

Would you but once come‹

thomas johnson's note on letter 413 | index to dickinson/higginson letters

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Commentary copyright 1998 by Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved
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Last updated on September 10, 1998