Dickinson, Cartoonist

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"Whose cheek is this?"


< transcription 1, transcription 2 >


H B186 | JP 82 | FP 48 | 1850s

Pencil | Watermark/Embossment: FNP/Fine Note Paper | 17 x 10.5 cm

FF 185-186. "Sue ' " and "X" on verso. A remnant of flower remains atop manuscript and a cutout of a robin from the New England Primer is attached to the top of the poem. The questions comprising the first three lines of the poem likely refer to the wilting token affixed to the sheet, and the layout and attachment function as commentary on the poem to produce a cartoon commenting on the conventional poetry immensely popular during this period. See Comic Power in Emily Dickinson, 71-74, for a more detailed discussion. Also, in FF, niece Martha Dickinson Bianchi declares, "A very early poem, sent with wild flowers, and illustrated with a tiny picture of a robin cut from some paper and pasted at the top of the page" (n1, p. 186). Bianchi's note situates this poem in the early 1850s.