poems from dickinson to the jenkins family

Thomas Johnson's Note on Poem 1352

MANUSCRIPT: The copy reproduced above concludes a letter (BPL Higg 83) written to T. W. Higginson in January or February 1876. It follows the remark:

Mr. Bowles lent me flowers twice, for my Father's Grave.

ED sent another copy, signed "Emily-" to her pastor, the Rev. J. L. Jenkins, or to some member of his family. The handwriting suggests it was written at the same time:

To his simplicity
To die was little fate
If Duty - live -
Contented, but her Confederate.

The texts are identical, though there is some difference in line arrangement. It is privately owned (Howe).

PUBLICATION: The letter to Higginson is in Letters (ed. 1931 only), 304. The text of the poem is printed as a couplet.

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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 2, 1999