poems sent from dickinson to jackson

Thomas Johnson's Note on Poem 1432

MANUSCRIPTS: Late 1878, in pencil. Early in November 1878 ED wrote T.W. Higginson saying: "I had a sweet Forenoon with Mrs. Jackson recently, who brought her Husband to me for the first time. . . " (BPL Higg 98). This autograph came into the possession of Harvard College Library several years ago with other Higginson items. Beneath the poem, in the handwriting of Helen Hunt Jackson, is the note:

Wonderful twelve words! -

Mrs. Jackson was in frequent communication with Higginson, and on one occasion sent him a letter written to her by ED (BPL Higg 112; see Letters, ed. 1931, 318-319). One may conjecture that on her return to Colorado Springs after visiting Amherst in the autumn of 1878, she received a note from ED with these lines enclosed - or that this was the note - and that she forwarded the lines to Higginson, adding her notation.

PUBLICATION: Atlantic Monthly, CXXXIX (June, 1927), 801; Letters (ed. 1931 only), 318.

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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 October 2, 1998