letters from dickinson to joseph lyman


We used to think, Joseph, when I was an unsifted girl and you so scholarly that words were cheap & weak. Now I dont know of anything so mighty. There are [those] to which I lift my hat when I see them sitting princelike among their peers on the page. Sometimes I write one, and look at his outlines till he glows as no sapphire.

[Sewall provides the following footnote for the expression "an unsifted girl":

Polonius to Ophelia, I, iii, 102-3:

". . . you speak like a green girl,
Unsifted in such perilous circumstance."]

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Last updated on May 12, 2000