poems sent from dickinson to elizabeth holland

Thomas Johnson's Note on Poem 5

MANUSCRIPT: Early in September 1854, in an unpublished letter to Sue (H L17) beginning: "Sue - You can go or stay..."

PUBLICATION: FF (1932), 181-182 - the poem only, for the letter is omitted. Two words are altered:

3. decoys] always
13. safer] softer

A variant of the second stanza, printed as prose, is in Letters (ed. 1894), 162; (ed. 1931), 159; also LL (1924), 188 - a concluding paragraph in a letter to Dr. and Mrs. J. G. Holland. It there reads: "Then will I not repine, knowing that bird of mine, though flown - learneth beyond the sea, melody new for me, and will return." It is dated in these printings "Late Autumn, 1853." In LH (1951), 38, where it has been reprinted among the other Holland letters, the suggested period assigned is early 1854 - a more probable date.

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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 February 21, 2000.