letters between dickinson and jackson

To Emily Dickinson
From Helen Hunt Jackson


My dear friend,

I [keep] my promise so [promptly] that I am w[riting] you before bre[akfast, but] it is simply a [post]script to my [call the other] day; which re[ally I] found as mu[ch too] short as you [may] possibly have [felt it.]

I am ver[y sorry if] I have seemed [neglectful] and I hope [to hear from] you again. [I feel] as if I ha[d been] very imperti[nent that] day [in] speaking to you [as] I did, accusing you of living away from the sunlight and [telling] you that you [looke]d ill, which is a [mor]tal price of ill[ness] at all times, but re[al]ly you look[ed] so [wh]ite and [mo]th-like[!] Your [hand] felt [l]ike such a wisp in mine that you frigh[tened] me. I felt [li]ke a [gr]eat ox [tal]king to a wh[ite] moth, and beg[ging] it to come and [eat] grass with me [to] see if it could not turn itself into beef! How stupid.

This morning I have read over again the last verses you sent me: I find them more clear than I thought they were. Part of the dimness must have been in me. Yet I have others which I like better. I like your simplest and [most direct] lines best [page cut away]

You say you find great pleasure in reading my verses. Let somebody somewhere whom you do not know have the same pleasure in reading yours: [strip cut away]

Goodbye. Whenever you like to send me a word, I shall always be glad to hear: and for all the verses you send me, I shall thank you. - [Roberts Bros. Boston] is the address which will always find me wherever I am.

Most truly yours
Helen Jackson

thomas johnson's note on letter 476a | index to dickinson/jackson letters

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Commentary copyright 1998 by Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved
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Last updated on October 2, 1998