A precious, mouldering pleasure ’t is
To meet an antique book,
In just the dress his century wore;
A privilege, I think,
His venerable hand to take,
And warming in our own,
A passage back, or two, to make
To times when he was young.
His quaint opinions to inspect,
His knowledge to unfold
On what concerns our mutual mind,
The literature of old;
What interested scholars most,
What competitions ran
When Plato was a certainty,
And Sophocles a man;
When Sappho was a living girl,
And Beatrice wore
The gown that Dante deified.
Facts, centuries before,
He traverses familiar,
As one should come to town
And tell you all your dreams were true:
He lived where dreams were sown.
His presence is enchantment,
You beg him not to go;
Old volumes shake their vellum heads
And tantalize, just so.
First print Life X, 10
Johnson 371 | Franklin 569
Thematic arrangement of stanzas.
Poems, first print by Higginson and Todd, page 22;
Google Drive, manuscript fascicles;
Poems one-by-one print and fascicle comparison,
Resource for Emily Dickinson’s poetry.
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If her skill was taken for supernatural, the world may never have seen her original handwriting. Feel welcome to Poems by Emily Dickinson prepared for print by Teresa Pelka: thematic stanzas, notes on the Greek and Latin inspiration, the correlative with Webster 1828, and the Aristotelian motif, Things perpetual — these are not in time, but in eternity.
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The enclosed piece-by-piece analysis works a criterion to embrace the epsilon, predicate structure, vowel contour, phonemics, person reference in abstract thought, and altogether stylistic coherence. The result supports doubt on fascicle originality. There always is the simple question as well: do we believe Emily Dickinson tried to tell about very exceptional Bees, Ears, or Birds, so peculiar that you write them with capital letters?
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