letters between dickinson and jackson

To Helen Hunt Jackson
From Emily Dickinson

September 1884

Dear friend -

I infer from your Note you have "taken Captivity Captive," and rejoice that that martial Verse has been verified. He who is "slain and smiles, steals something from the" Sword, but you have stolen the Sword itself, which is far better - I hope you may be harmed no more - I shall watch your passage from Crutch to Cane with jealous affection. From there to your Wings is but a stride - as was said of the convalescing Bird,

And then he lifted up his Throat
And squandered such a Note -
A Universe that overheard
Is stricken by it yet -

I, too, took my summer in a Chair, though from "Nervous prostration," not fracture, but take my Nerve by the Bridle now, and am again abroad - Thank you for the wish -

The summer has been wide and deep, and a deeper Autumn is but the Gleam concomitant of that waylaying Light -

Pursuing you in your transitions,
In other Motes -
Of other Myths
Your requisition be.
The Prism never held the Hues,
It only heard them play -

E. Dickinson -

thomas johnson's note on letter 937 | 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 8, 1998