Emily Dickinson Writing a Poem

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I am not suited / dear Emily


< transcription 1, transcription 2 recto, transcription 3 verso >

H B74b


JL 238 | JP 216 | FP 124 | OMC 61

1861-62 | Ink | Watermark embossment of queen's profile. | 18.5 x 12 cm

Apparently Sue has already seen, and Emily knows that she has seen, another version of "Safe in their Alabaster Chambers" with a different second stanza. Perhaps Sue had seen the version printed in the Republican as "The Sleeping," perhaps she had seen the version in one of Emily's manuscript books, perhaps in other copy sent to her but now lost. Sue's note moves comfortably from remarks about the emotional and intellectual effects of Emily's poem to comments about the routines of motherhood and housekeeping. Interestingly, when talking about her role as mother, Sue christens herself "Susan."

"Emily -" and "Pony Express" (lower left corner) on verso