poems sent from dickinson to elizabeth holland

Thomas Johnson's Note on Poem 716

MANUSCRIPTS: There are three, all written about 1863. That reproduced above (Bingham 106-10), signed "Emily.," has been folded as if enclosed in an envelope. It is a redaction of the semifinal copy in packet 31 (H 170a):

The Day undressed - Herself -
Her Garter - was of Gold -
Her Petticoat of Purple - just -
Her Dimities as old

Exactly - as the World
And yet the newest Star
Enrolled upon the Hemisphere -
Be wrinkled - much as Her -

Too near to God - to pray -
Too near to Heaven - to fear -
The Lady of the Occident
Retired without a Care -

Her Candle so expire
The Flickering be seen
On Ball of Mast - in Foreign Port -
And Spire - and Window Pane.

3. just] plain -
5. Exactly] precisely
7. Hemisphere] Firmament
12. Retired] laid down -
15. Foreign Port] Bosporus -
16. And Spire] And Dome - / Church -

In her redaction ED adopted these suggested alternatives:

3. plain
15. Bosporus
16. Dome

A third copy (Bingham) was sent to the Hollands. It is identical in text and form with the fair copy reproduced above.

PUBLICATION: UP (1935), 45. The text derives from the packet copy; the alternatives for lines 5 and 7 are adopted. The last word of line 3 is omitted and the alternative is not adopted. The suggested change for line 15 has been incorporated into line 16, which reads:

On Bosphorus and dome

Two other words are altered:

7. Enrolled] Unrolled
13. Candle] candles

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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