letters from dickinson to joseph lyman

[An Exile and a Return]

A Calamity. Some years ago I had a woe, the only one that ever made me tremble. It was a shutting out of all the dearest ones of time, the strongest friends of the soul - BOOKS[.] The medical man said avaunt ye books tormentors, he also said 'down, thoughts, & plunge into her soul.' He might as well have said, 'Eyes be blind', 'heart be still.' So I had eight weary months of Siberia.

Well do I remember the music of the welcome home. It was at his office. He whistled up the fox hounds. He clapped and said 'Sesame'. How my blood bounded! Shakespear [sic] was the first; Antony & Cleopatra where Enobarbus laments the amorous lapse of his master. Here is the ring of it.

"heart that in the scuffles of
great fights hath burst the
buck[l]e on his breast"

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Last updated on May 12, 2000