letters from dickinson to joseph lyman

[My Country is Truth]

My father seems to me often the oldest and the oddest sorty of a foreigner. Sometimes I say something and he stares in a curious sort of bewilderment though I speak a thought quite as old as his daughter. And Vinnie, Joseph [,] it is so weird and so vastly mysterious, she sleeps by my side, her care is in some sort motherly, for you may not remember that our amiable mother never taught us tayloring and I am amused to remember those clothes, or rather those apologies made up from dry goods with which she covered us in nursery times; so Vinnie is in the matter of raiment greatly necessary to me; and the tie is quite vital; yet if we had come up for the first time from two wells where we had hitherto been bred her astonishment would not be greater at some things I say.

Father says in fugitive moments when he forgets the barrister & lapses into the man, says that his life has been passed in a wilderness or on an island - of late he says on an island. And so it is, for in the morning I hear his voice and methinks it comes from afar & has a sea tone & and there is a hum of hoarseness about [it] & a suggestion of remoteness as far as the isle of Juan Fernandez.

So I conclude that space & time are things of the body & have little or nothing to do with our selves. My Country is Truth. Vinnie lives much of the time in the State of Regret. I like Truth - it sets free is a free Democracy.

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Last updated on May 12, 2000