letters from dickinson to elizabeth holland

Thomas Johnson's Note on Letter 950

MANUSCRIPT: HCL (H 91). Pencil.


Election Day is not far off. The anniversary of Dr. Holland's death was 12 October. Franz Abt's popular "When the swallows homeward fly" is echoed in the first sentence. The swallow metaphor is carried into the second sentence, where Banquo's description of Macbeth's castle is recalled (Macbeth, I, vi, 9-10): "Where they most breed and haunt, I have observed/The air is delicate." The anniversary covered with leaves echoes line 738 in Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Aurora Leigh: "Flies back to cover all that past with leaves."

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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 January 21, 1999