poems from dickinson to james d. clark

Thomas Johnson's Note on Poem 1576

MANUSCRIPT: The poem is incorporated in a letter (Bingham) written to James D. Clark early in April 1883, and it probably commemorates the first anniversary of the death of Charles Wadsworth, who had died 1 April 1882. The lines are introduced by the remark: "These thoughts disquiet me, and the great Friend is gone who could solace them. Do they disturb you?"

The final six lines of the poem conclude poem number 1588, and the final four, poem number 1584, both written about the same time.

PUBLICATION: Letters (ed. 1894), 363-364; (ed. 1931), 355; also LL (1924), 362. It is placed among the letters written to James Clark's brother Charles and dated 21 April 1884. It is not likely the dating is correct, partly on evidence of association of the concluding lines, evidence of handwriting, and the knowledge that another letter to Charles Clark bears the identical date.

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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 February 21, 2000