27 January 2006

Emily Dickinson to her sister-in-law

[from Open Me Carefully: Emily Dickinson's Intimate Letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson, edited by Ellen Louise Hart and Martha Nell Smith]


             We both are
Women, and there
is a Will of God –
Could the Dying
confide Death,
there would be no
Dead – Wedlock
is shyer than Death,
Thank you for
Tenderness –
I find it is the only
food that the Will
takes, nor that
from general fingers.
I am glad you go –
It does not remove
you. I seek you
first in Amherst,
then turn my
thoughts without
a Whip – so well
they follow you –
An Hour is a Sea
Between a few, and me –
With them would Harbor
be –


Title divine, is mine.
The Wife without
the Sign –
Acute Degree
Conferred on Me –
Empress of Cavalry –
Royal, all but the
Crown –
Betrothed, without
the Swoon
God gives us Women –
When You hold
Garnet to Garnet –
Gold – to Gold –
Born – Bridalled –
Shrouded –
In a Day –
Tri Victory –
“My Husband” –
Women say
Stroking the Melody –
Is this the Way –

             Emily –

both letter-poems from the mid-1860s

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