letters from dickinson to maria whitney

early 1885?

Dear Friend,

I cannot depict a friend to my mind till I know what he is doing, and three of us want to depict you. I inquire your avocation of Austin, and he says you are "engaged in a great work"! That is momentous but not defining. The thought of you in the great city has a halo of wilderness.

Console us by dispelling it....

Vinnie is happy with her duties, her pussies, and her posies, for the little garden within, though tiny, is triumphant.

There are scarlet carnations, with a witching suggestion, and hyacinths covered with promises which I know they will keep.

How precious to hear you ring at the door, and Vinnie ushering you to those melodious moments of which friends are composed.

This is also fiction.

I fear we shall care very little for the technical resurrection, when to behold the one face that to us comprised it is too much for us, and I dare not think of the voraciousness of that only gaze and its only return.

Rememberance is the great tempter.


thomas johnson's note on letter 969 | index to dickinson/whitney letters

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Last updated on December 13, 1999