poems sent from dickinson to elizabeth holland

Thomas Johnson's Note on Poem 1491

MANUSCRIPT: The copy reproduced above (H H 52) is incorporated in a letter written to Mrs. J. G. Holland on 4 July 1880. In the second line "just" is erased and "scarce" is substituted. Another fair copy (Bingham 98-1-8), written about the same time, is variant in lines 3, 5, and 7:

The Road to Paradise is plain
And holds scarce one -
Not that it has no room
But we presume
A florid Road
Is more preferred.

The Guests of Paradise are few -
Not me, nor you -
But unsuspected things -
Mines have no Wings.

A third copy now lost is discussed below.

PUBLICATION: The version to Mrs. Holland is in LH (1951), 131-132. The version in BM (1945), 212, derives from a transcript made by Mrs. Todd of a copy presumably now lost. It is without stanza division and is identical in text with the fair copy except for one word:

5. florid] dappled

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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 19, 1999