It is so much joy! ’T is so much joy!
If I should fail, what poverty!
And yet, as poor as I
Have ventured all upon a throw;
Have gained! Yes! Hesitated so
This side the victory!
Life is but life, and death but death!
Bliss is but bliss, and breath but breath!
And if, indeed, I fail,
At least to know the worst is sweet.
Defeat means nothing but defeat,
No drearier can prevail!
And if I gain, — oh, gun at sea,
Oh, bells that in the steeples be,
At first repeat it slow!
For Heaven is a different thing
Conjectured, and waked sudden in,
And might o’erwhelm me so!
First print Life IV, 4
Johnson 172 | Franklin 170
Heaven capitalized, for reference to religion.
Poems, first print by Higginson and Todd, page 16;
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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