poems from dickinson to thomas niles

Thomas Johnson's Note on Poem 824

MANUSCRIPTS: This poem survives in five fair copies, three of the first version, two of the second. A sixth copy (a third copy of the second version) is discussed below. The copy of the first version reproduced above (Bingham) was written about 1864 and sent to Dr. and Mrs. Holland. It is signed "Emily-." A second copy of the same version (Bingham 106-8), identical in text, form, and signature, was written at the same time and sent to an unidentified recipient. A third copy of the first version (H 356), written about 1870, is addressed "Sue" and signed "Emily." It is variant in two lines:

9. Street] Streets
10. Thunders] Thunder

PUBLICATION: Poems (1891), 158-159, titled "A Thunder-Storm." It follows the text of the second version reproduced above, with two words seemingly adopted from the first version:

3. threw] flung
8. threw] throw

In view of the fact that Mrs. Todd did not have copies of the poem in the summer of 1891 when she was preparing the text for the Second Series, and that the purpose of Higginson in sending his inventory (mentioned above) was to make transcripts of his poems available, it seems probable that the published version derives from the lost copy to Higginson. The first version is unpublished.

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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