poems sent from dickinson to jackson

Thomas Johnson's Note on Poem 1602

MANUSCRIPTS: In a letter to Helen Hunt Jackson, written in late September or early October 1884 (BPL Higg 112). On 28 June Mrs. Jackson, then at Colorado Springs, fractured her hip in a fall. She was still on crutches when ED wrote this letter, commenting: "I shall watch your passage from Crutch to Cane with jealous affection." The poem pays tribute to the "transitions" by which Mrs. Jackson was mastering her physical handicap. It may imply more, since "H.H." was a woman of exhaustless energy and, in these years, a restless traveler.

PUBLICATION: Letters (ed. 1931 only), 319. The letter is included among those sent to T.W. Higginson, with the footnote: "Though included among the letters to Colonel Higginson, this letter was probably written to 'H.H.'" Higginson and Mrs. Jackson frequently corresponded and both knew ED. Evidently Mrs. Jackson forwarded this letter to him and it still remains among his papers.

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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 3, 1998