letters between dickinson and jackson

To Emily Dickinson
From Helen Hunt Jackson

29 April 1878

My dear friend,

My face was not "averted" in the least. It was only that I did not speak: and of my not speaking, I ought to be very much ashamed, and should be, if I had not got past being ashamed of my delinquencies in the matter of letter writing. But I assure you I have never forgotten that you kindly wrote one day, asking if all were well with me: and I have all along meant to write and say "yes," if no more.

All last summer and autumn I was very busy, in altering over and fitting up our cottage. I think to alter one house is equal to buiding ten! and to do any such work in Colorado is ten times harder than to do it any where else in the world. But now it is all done, and we are "settled" - (odd word that and does a good deal of double duty in the language) - I can hardly recollect the fatiques and discomforts which went before. It is a very picturesque and cozy little house, and I enjoy it unspeakably. I should like to see all my Eastern friends in it.

Would it be of any use to ask you once more for one or two of your poems, to come out in ther volume of "no name" poetry which is to be published before long by Roberts Bros.? If you will give me permission I will copy them - sending them in my own handwriting - and promise never to tell any one, not even the publishers, whose the poems are. Could you not bear this much of publicity? only you and I would recognize the poems. I wish veyr much you would do this - and I think you would have much amusement in seeing to whom the critics, those shrewd guessers would ascribe your verses.

I am hoping to come East with Mr. Jackson, before next winter: but we have no fixed plan - and may not get off. It is a long way to come.

I wish you would give my love to Doctor Cate - I was about to say "when you see him," but you never see anybody! Perhaps however you have improved. I send back the little baby face to tell you that I had not "averted" my face - only the habit of speaking. It is an earnest and good little face: your brother's child I presume. - Will you ask Mrs. Dickinson some day, if she still hears from Jane Goodenow - I would like very much to know where and how she is. Goodbye -

Always cordially yours -
Helen Jackson

thomas johnson's note on letter 573a | index to dickinson/jackson letters

search the archives

dickinson/jackson correspondence main page | dickinson electronic archives main menu

Commentary copyright 1998 by Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved
Maintained by Lara Vetter <lv26@umail.umd.edu>
Last updated on October 2, 1998