letters from dickinson to elizabeth holland

To Mrs. J.G. Holland
From ED

late 1883

Sweet Sister.

Was that what I used to call you?

I hardly recollect, all seems so different -

I hesitate which word to take, as I can take but few and each must be the chiefest, but recall that Earth's most graphic transaction is placed within a syllable, nay, even a gaze -

The Physician says I have "Nervous prostration."

Possibly I have - I do not know the Names of Sickness. "The Crisis of the sorrow of so many years is all that tires me - As Emily Bronte to her Maker, I write to my Lost "Every Existence would exist in thee -"

The tender consternation for you was much eased by the little Card, which spoke "better as loud as a human Voice -

Please, Sister, to wait -

"Open the Door, open the Door, they are waiting for me," was Gilbert's sweet command in delirium. Who are waiting for him, all we possess we would give to know - Anguish, at last opened it, and he ran to the little Grave at his Grandparents' feet - All this and more, though is there more? More than Love and Death? Then tell me it's name!

Love for the sweet Catherines, Rose and Bud in one, and the Gentleman with the vast Name, and Annie and Ted, and if the softest for yourself, would they ever know, or knowing, covet?

How lovely that you went to "Church"!

May I go with you to the "Church of the first born?"

          Emily -

thomas johnson's note on letter 873 | index to dickinson/holland letters

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Last updated on January 20, 1999