Emily Dickinson's Correspondences
Correspondence with Susan Dickinson

H B73, H ST23e, H ST24

JP 4

FP 3

OMC 15

March 1853


watermark/embossment: N, no symbol

14 x 9.5 cm.

Poems (1896), 200, titled "Eternity"; LL 78-79. With Dickinson drawing a line between stanzas (significant for interpreting the identities of stanzas identified with "Safe in their Alabaster Chambers"). Sent to "Susie" when she was visiting in Manchester, New Hampshire, who made two transcriptions, indicating perhaps that Sue made copies of Emily's work to send out. Martha Dickinson Bianchi, wrote that it was "The first verse Aunt Emily sent to Mamma - " and says that it was "sent to Susan in 1848 when she was but eighteen. . . ." but it was written five years later. This is the kind of misdating that Rebecca Patterson critiques as part of an effort to mask Emily's adult desire for Sue (The Riddle of Emily Dickinson, especially the first and fourth chapters). Emily might be asking Sue for a letter, urging her to write poetry, or both.

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Image reproduced by permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University. Not to be reproduced in whole or in part without permission.
Transcription and commentary copyright 1996 by Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved
Last updated on January 17, 2003
Maintained by Tanya Clement <tclement@umd.edu>