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'I Took My Power in my Hand': Emily Dickinson's Thirtieth Fascicle

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0524445701fa3cc9e9aa07d30ec6165d6d1d3133



PAGE 1

“I TOOK MY POWER IN MY HAND”: EMILY DICKINSON’S THIRTIETH FASCICLE By TRISHA KANNAN A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2006

PAGE 2

Copyright 2006 by Trisha Kannan

PAGE 3

To Robyn and Mrs. C

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iv ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I forever thank Dr. Richard Brantley fo r his Dickinson knowledge, expertise, and passion, and Dr. Judith Page for her exceptional feedback and, as always, her continuous support and encouragement.

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v TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iv ABSTRACT....................................................................................................................... vi CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 2 PUBLICATION HISTORY OF THE FASCICLES....................................................5 The Fascicle Sequences: Barri ers to a Printed Edition..........................................7 Dickinson on Publication....................................................................................12 3 FASCICLE 30............................................................................................................17 4 VARIANTS................................................................................................................32 5 CONCLUSION...........................................................................................................44 A SIDE-BY-SIDE REPRESENTATION OF VARIANTS...........................................46 LIST OF REFERENCES...................................................................................................51 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.............................................................................................53

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vi Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts “I TOOK MY POWER IN MY HAND”: EMILY DICKINSON’S THIRTIETH FASCICLE By Trisha Kannan May 2006 Chair: Richard Brantley Major Department: English The primary focus for this study is the poe try found in Emily Dickinson’s thirtieth fascicle. I argue for the significance of the sequence of poems as found in the fascicles compared to the assumed chronological ordering of printed editions. The thematic context of Fascicle 30 concentrates on the wo rkings and power of language, as well as the specific power of poetry. If read in a chr onological order, thematic connections between several of the poems would be hidden. Al so addressed is the current debate among scholars of how “best” to read Dickinson’s poetry, either in manuscript or in printed form, and as part of this discussion, I presen t a possible read ing of the variants. These variants have historically caused editors of Dickinson to assume that the manuscripts were not intended for publication. Since Dick inson hardly published during her lifetime, it is now widely accepted that she did not want to publish. However, I argue that Dickinson did not publish because she rea lized that she would not be published accurately Currently, Dickinson’s ordering of the fascicle poems is only available in

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vii facsimile, and Dickinson’s handwriting is notor iously hard to read, making the logical next step in Dickinson scholarship a printe d edition of the fascicle poems. Contemporary fascicle criticism considers various interp retations regarding th e presence of variant words, possible relationships between indi vidual booklets, and the function of the fascicles in comparison to Dickinson’s unbound poems. Any fascicle study involves the reading of the manuscripts, but manuscript study need not be absolutely necessary either in Dickinson’s case or in the case of other au thors, even when various versions exist in manuscript form. For example, printed edit ions exist of Mary Shelley’s 1818 and 1831 versions of Frankenstein and James Rieger’s edition incorporates the variant readings into the 1818 text, allowing interested sc holars and readers to study closely the two versions side by side. If this is the ca se for Shelley’s manuscripts, then it seems imperative for Dickinson criticism to move in a similar direction for the poetry contained within the forty fascicles.

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1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The mythic Emily Dickinson was a shy primitive, a recluse whose retirement from the active world was due to an act of re nunciation of an unattainable lover. The poet Emily Dickinson does not fit the woman of this myth. — Ruth Miller, The Poetry of Emily Dickinson In 1968, Ruth Miller realized the incompatibility of f acts and fictions regarding Dickinson. In order to show how the myth ic Emily Dickinson came into being, Amanda Gailey traces “major editorial approaches in depicting Dickinson’s life and poems by examining representative anthologies fr om 1897 to 1955” (62). The myth stems primarily from Dickinson’s first editors, Mabel Loomis Todd and Thomas Wentworth Higginson, who focused on Dickinson’s reclusio n in the introductions to the earliest editions of Dickinson’s poems. Biographica l sketches presented by Dickinson’s niece, Martha Dickinson Bianchi, also added to th e representation of Dick inson “as an icon of passive femininity” (69). Gailey records se veral specific instances of later editorial introductions that simply redraw the reclus ive, love-spurned image of Dickinson that began with Todd, Higginson and Bianch i. Gailey’s answer as to why the mythic Dickinson was born and consistently reproduced is that Dickinson had to be “naturalized [into] the feminized private explorer” because of “the belief that she could not have produced universally aesthetic poetry without a painfully femi nized life” (65). According to Bianchi, Dickinson’s “painful” life is a result of falling “suddenly and completely in love with a man already married” (73). Th is presentation of Dickinson allows for a

PAGE 9

2 primary importance of editors, which is clearly revealed in the 1897 edition of The Golden Treasury of American Songs and Lyrics where Frederic Lawrence Knowles writes of the “shy recluse whom Mr. Higginson so happily has introduced to the world” (Gailey 63). Dickinson as “r equiring assistance” continues to plague the general notion of the poet even today. The most fascinating aspect of Amanda Gailey’s study is th at as early as 1929 arguments such as Miller’s were being made According to Gailey, Anna Mary Wells wrote in American Literature that editorial depictions of Dickinson lacked any factual basis, revealing “that even as early twen tieth-century editors of anthologies were persisting in portraying Dickin son as a martyred recluse, there was scholarly awareness that this picture was inaccurate” (68). Wh ile Gailey’s study ends with Thomas H. Johnson’s 1955 edition, “scholarly awareness” regarding Dickinson’ s abilities was made even more substantial in 1981 with R.W. Franklin’s landmark reassembling of the fascicles. Franklin’s publica tion marked not only a new era of Dickinson scholarship but a new era of the “Dickinson Wars” as well. As succinctly summed up by Betsy Erkkila, the Dickinson Wars began w ith disputes regarding Dickinson’s manuscripts between Lavinia Dickinson, Susan Gilbert Dickins on, and Mabel Loomis Todd. According to Erkkila, the wars continue mainly between Di ckinson’s male editors, such as Johnson and Franklin, and feminist critics who contend that these editors have done Dickinson’s poetry a disservice by their ed itorial manipulation. Of prim ary importance within this debate are the fascicles, booklets of poems arranged and bound with string by Dickinson herself. The early manuscript wars left these fascicles in disarray, but the internal poetry sequence of the forty individual fascicles wa s established when Franklin published the

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3 Manuscript Books of Emily Dickinson. Franklin reconstructed the individual fascicles and ordered earliest to latest according to the date at which they were written. While the progression of Dickinson’s handwr iting can give a quite reliable clue as to what date a fascicle was written, the number s 1-40 are otherwise arbitrary, meaning that there is no definitive reason to designate Fascicle 11 as coming before Fascicle 12. Mabel Loomis Todd, however, did keep track of the fascicles, and much of Franklin’s reconstruction is based on her system. Numerous fascicle critics have recently ar gued that there is indeed a recognizable internal poetry sequence to the fascicles. While claims as to Dickinson’s intentions for the forty fascicles as a whole are also a subject of scholarly debate, the focus of this paper is a close reading of the thirtieth fascicle in order to reveal the impor tance of the internal poetry sequence. The comments and actions of editors, including Franklin despite his publication of the Manuscript Books reveal that Dickinson’s positioning of poems within individual fascicles continues to be subs umed by printing the poems in chronological order. Scholars, despite arguments regardi ng proper presentation a nd editing for print, universally agree in the far-reaching importance of Franklin’s Manuscript Books since “seeing” Dickinson’s poems firsthand is vastly different from translations in print. All recent fascicle scholars agree that reading poe ms within the fascicle context can elucidate one’s understanding of the poetry. In reading individual fasc icles, connections can be made between poems that are hidden when presented in a chronological order. Surprisingly, not many of the fascicles have been individually examined, and only one book-length study exists on a single fascicle.1 All of these fascic le studies agree that 1 This is Dorothy Huff Oberhaus’s Emily Dickinson’s Fascicles: Method & Meaning which will be discussed at length in specific relation to my analysis of Fascicle 30.

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4 individual fascicles can be and need to be r ead as “artistic gather ings,” to borrow Ruth Miller’s term, but this view appears not to be held by Dickinson’s editors; hence, the “new” Dickinson war between editors and femini st critics. Franklin’s disregard of the importance of the fascicles is evidenced in his 1998 variorum edition of Dickinson’s poetry, which again presents the poetry in an assumed chronological order. Much to Franklin’s credit, however, the 1998 edition includes extensive information for each poem in the form of manuscript descriptions such as the type of paper on which the poem is written, as well as all variant forms of the poem that exist (see Appendix B for an example). In my view, a possible explan ation for not following the 1981 Manuscript Books with a printed edition of the fascicle sequence is that the mythic Dickinson still reins. Since it is beyond the scope of this essay to formulate anything near a “solution” to the Dickinson Wars and any investigation into Dickinson’s position re garding the publication of her fascicles must rely on authorial inte ntions that can never be known, I focus this study on a single fascicle to show the im portance of reading Dickinson’s poems according to the positioning of the author.

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5 CHAPTER 2 PUBLICATION HISTORY OF THE FASCICLES Emily Dickinson’s sister, Lavinia, disc overed Dickinson's nearly eighteen hundred poems after her death. Lavinia turned to Susa n Dickinson, their sister-in-law, to Mabel Loomis Todd, mistress of Emily Dickinson's brother (who also happened to be Susan’s husband), and to T.W. Higginson, a long-time correspondent with Dickinson. Todd and Higginson made legible copies of the fascicle poems as well as other poems and kept a record of the fascicle poems. Todd and Higginson printed three volumes of the Poems of Emily Dickinson : the first in 1890, second in 1891, and Todd alone edited the third in 1896. The poems given to Susan Dickinson were ne ver systematically organized. Thomas H. Johnson became the first editor to prepare an edition of the whole, a three-volume variorum in 1955, entitled The Poems of Emily Dickinson. His introductio n notes that “the purpose of this edition is to establish an accurate text of the poe ms and to give them as far as possible a chronology.” Previous ed itions had made extens ive regularizations of Dickinson’s poems as well as included quite a bit of biographical information that was often mistaken or without any factual basis. Johnson’s edition sought to remain as close as possible to the manuscript versions, including both manuscript and publication information, and includes any existing varian ts. Johnson refers to the fascicles as “packets,” although he does make it clear that “the poems have been given a chronological arrangement even though at best it is but an approximation. Since very few poems can be given exact dates any chronol ogy must be considered relative” (Johnson xi). R. W. Franklin became the successor to Johnson, revising the variorum in 1998.

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6 Franklin says of the fascicles in his intr oduction that “Dickinson's care in preparing the earliest fascicles, which admitted only completed poems, all their alternative readings resolved, show the goal to have been a finished product . As of Fascicle 9, in early 1861, they would have been unsuitable for ci rculation. The transcription, though in ink, was less careful, and the texts, now with unresolved readings, were not intended for others” (Franklin 20). Johnson most likely did not attribute much importance to the poetry sequence of the fascicles since he chose to print the poems in a chronol ogical order. Franklin’s landmark contribution to Dickinson studies was reassembling the fascicles, and publishing The Manuscript Books of Emily Dickinson in 1981. However, as in Franklin’s comments quoted above, it seems Franklin believes the fascicles to be solely for Dickinson’s private use. While the sequence of the fascicles has been reestablished, the edition contains only facsimile reproductions, meaning that reading the fascicle sequence in this edition requires one to read Dickin son’s handwriting, which is difficult and time consuming to say the least. Even after producing this edition, however, Franklin’s statements on the importance of the fascic les, as discussed by Sharon Cameron in Choosing Not Choosing are quite confusing. According to Cameron: To follow the fascicle order is, in Franklin ’s account of his task as described in the introduction to the facsimile, to present the poems ‘much as [Dickinson] left them for Lavinia and the world’ (I :ix). In an article in Studies in Bibliography however, published two years after the facsimile text Franklin differently claims that the fascicles were a form of “surrogate p ublication . constructed for herself.” (Cameron 12) Franklin’s contention in the article, rather than his statement in the introduction of the facsimile edition, is in s ync with his later statements in the introduction of the 1998 printed edition that Dickinson’s manuscripts we re not intended for a wide audience. One

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7 could argue, of course, quite persuasively that Dickinson did not intend her poems to reach a wide audience. My concern, however is the apparent assumption on the part of both Franklin and Johnson that e ach fascicle did not contain an internal poetry sequence, and that the fascicles as w hole were nothing more than a means of ordering poems. According to Cameron, later in the same Studies in Bibliography article, Franklin posits that the fascicles were a means of keeping orde r, and he means that they literally helped her to tidy up: “The disorder that the fascic le sheets forestalled may be seen in the ‘scraps’ of the later years. When she did not copy such sheets a nd destroy the previous versions, her poems are on hundreds of odds and ends—brown paper bags, magazine clippings, discarded envelopes and letters, and the backs of recipes” (11). The important implication underlying the confusi on of Franklin’s various stat ements is that Dickinson’s sequence of poems in the fasc icles has no artistic value. The Fascicle Sequences: Barriers to a Printed Edition While Franklin’s manuscript edition is an unsurpassed contribution to Dickinson scholars, it appears that Fra nklin’s opinions regarding Di ckinson’s poetry has inhibited the production of a printed version of the fascicle sequence. For both Johnson and Franklin, the effort to “figure out” the be st way to present Dickinson’s poetry has prevented a wider public readership from s eeing the poetry in the true “best way:” the author’s original sequence. Interested schol ars can of course reassemble for themselves the fascicle sequence using pr inted versions of the poems.1 However, it seems that the 1 This is in fact how I was first introduced to the fascicles. Dr. Robyn Bell, in the College of Creative Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, reassembled the fascicle sequence in such a fashion for the course, Emily Dickinson’s Book (Spring 2002). My interest in Dickinson’s manuscripts and the sequence of poems in the fascicles arose from my reading of the forty fascicles during this course, which extended into a research project supervis ed by Dr. Bell. As a result, I presented Emily Dickinson’s Fascicles: Poetry versus Publishing at the National Conference of Underg raduate Research, University of

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8 logical next step in fascicle criticism is th e production of a printed version of Dickinson’s fascicle order. I realize that this is much easier said than done. The contemporary Dickinson Wars present various opinions regard ing the “proper” way to read Dickinson’s poetry. One side of the debate asserts that the only “true” way to read Dickinson is in manuscript form. I have to agree that reading the facsimiles in Franklin’s Manuscript Books is a vastly different experience from r eading individual poems in printed form. Annette Debo utilizes the number of Dickin son scholars, such as Susan Howe, Martha Nell Smith, Jerome McGann, Sharon Cameron, and Paul Crumbley, who focus their studies on the facsimiles rather than printed ed itions to indicate that Dickinson “must be studied by undergraduates through her manuscrip t facsimiles” (132). Debo is definitely a member of what Domhnall Mitchell terms the “manuscript school” since she fiercely defends the idea that only Dickinson’s manuscripts can offer “an accurate text,” indicating that even the most painstakingly detailed printed editions, such as Franklin’s 1998 variorum, contain the mark of the editor and are thus “corrupt ed texts” (132). However, Debo’s article is mainly concerned wi th practical use of the manuscripts in the classroom, which are made quite easily acces sible thanks to advances in technology and the computer.2 However, Dickinson’s handwriting is notoriously difficult and sometimes impossible to decipher with cer tainty, which is one of seve ral reasons for the problems inherent in “translating” the manuscripts in to print. Debo consistently defends the “superiority” of the manuscripts, yet her main purpose in the article is to offer suggestions for and personal experiences for us ing the manuscripts to teach Dickinson. Utah, March 2003. My interest in Fascicle 30 began during this time, and this paper extends the work I began under the immensely supportive and knowledgeable guidance of Dr. Bell. 2 Dickinson Electronic Archives at www.emilydickinson.org

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9 Dickinson’s difficult handwriting obviously pos es a problem, and Debo admits that “I do offer a typescript version of each poem to help students overcome these complications initially, but I try to wean them back to th e manuscripts” (135). Debo’s classroom focus is not only on the analysis and close read ings of poems, but on requiring students to contemplate and even perform instances of editing. Domhnall Mitchell has written extensivel y on the issue of manuscripts versus printed editions, pointing out that “Relying on the autograph version alone is problematic, for it assumes that the handwritten page is a form of publication—complete, finished, and containing in script and in visual form all the info rmation necessary to its further transmission” ( Diplomacy of Translation 45). One problematic aspect of the manuscript school, as Mitchell repeatedly points out in his various ar ticles on the topic, is the assumption by scholars, such as Susan Howe, that “Dickinson’s presenta tion is part of the art form” (Debo 134). Scholars, and teachers, who subscribe to this belief can often only offer, due to time constraints both in the cl assroom and in critical inquiry, a few select examples of individual poems where, for exampl e, the shape of an “s” or the crossing of a “t” is seen as influencing the way the poem is read, and thus, intended by Dickinson in the sense that the crossing of the t must be taken into account, and therefore, Dickinson meant her poems only to be read in her own handwriting.3 However, Mitchell has routinely pointed out the flaw in this logic through examples of his own that show these “anomalies” to be much more consistent f eatures than manuscript scholars suggest, not 3 Debo refers to Howe’s “apt exampl e” of how the letter “s” in “The Sea said / ‘Come’ to the Brook – ” is crafted to simulate the “shape and movement of waves” (Debo 133). In ‘A Foreign Country,’ Mitchell references Martha Nell Smith, who first describes the “stu nning flourish that crosses both T’s” in the word “Tonight,” and then argues that this passionate scrawl as intentional and integral to the poem “Wild Nights!” (Mitchell 182).

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10 only in Dickinson’s poetry and letters, but in everyday letters from the 19th century as well. The treatment of “the material appear ance of [Dickinson’s] ma nuscripts as if they were not accidental or incidental to her practices” indi cates a quite drastic assumption as to authorial intention (Mitchell A Foreign Country 178). Mitchell concludes that while “the claim that Dickinson’s manuscripts ha ve a design element cannot be dismissed, it also cannot easily be sustained” (186). R eading the manuscripts and using them in the classroom is a consequence of being allowe d access, which has been brought about by not only Franklin’s Manuscript Books but by the computer. Theref ore, at this specific instance in time, it may appear that we can now be present at what Jerome McGann calls “Dickinson’s original scene of writing” (Debo 133). However, as Mitchell has brilliantly pointed out, the current drive to present Dickinson’s manuscripts in apparently unmediated electronic forms is as much a function of our historical moment as, say, Mabel Loomis Todd’s efforts at altering Dickinson’s rhymes. In this case, the impulse exists because there is an audience and because the softwa re and technology are available. (186) Contrary to the position that the manus cripts represent for modern readers “Dickinson’s original scene of writing,” Mitche ll articulates that reading the manuscripts only provides one with this illusion, and what is easily forgotten is the “remoteness [of the manuscripts] from our own time” (186). Nineteenth-century manuscript conventions can be conveniently or unintentionally ignored, or not taken into account, allowing “anomalies” in Dickinson’s manuscripts to hold meaning for a twenty-first-century reader. It is indecipherable however, as to whether or not that meaning is or is not intended. Mitchell’s position is that the focus on minute material details in Dickinson’s manuscripts is indeed a fascinating and nece ssary aspect to Dickinson criticism that

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11 opens up an array of possibiliti es, but Mitchell also observes that we should keep “the inaccessibility of the historical” in mind (186). Mitchell’s intent is continually to show that the drastic position of manuscripts-only is not only uncertain and often impractical but may in fact be considered a “corruption” : assuming that the material details are not accidental is equal to the assumption made by editors that they are accidental, and these editors are often derided as “corrupting” Dick inson’s texts by scholars in the manuscript school. On a more practical, pedagogical leve l, Mitchell reveals that “For those of us who teach Dickinson, it remains necessary to cross-check the print edition of a given poem with a facsimile of the manuscript wh enever possible” (44). Since authorial intention is always a murky precipice to st and on, I support Mitchell’s position on the value of being somewhere in the middle, where both manuscript and printed versions of Dickinson’s poems are necessary and valuable. I also wholeheartedly believe in the need for a printed version of the fascicle se quence since this would allow for wider accessibility to Dickinson’s placement of the poems. I fear that the current focus on manuscript-only readings will further inhibit this version from taking place, since scholarship concerned with “figuring out” inte ntions regarding dash es, capitals, and line breaks seems to have subsumed fascicle scholarship. Dickinson left no explicit in structions for printed versi ons of her poems, and thus a vast amount of criticism ex ists regarding how to read Dickinson. Sally Bushnell contends that “recent critics who attempt to read across Dickinson’s fascicles fall into exactly the same trap of unveri fiable intention” (58). Howe ver, this is in response to critics, such as Dorothy Oberha us, who argue for the forty fascic les to be read as a single literary work. This critique does not apply to individual fascicles since the connections

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12 established by close readings of poems within a single fascicle can be attributed to Dickinson’s positioning of the poems. While I do believe in the need for a printed edition of the entire fascicle sequence, I fu lly understand the enormously complicated and involved labor this edition would entail. Fo r this study, I would like to follow in the footsteps of Ann Swyderski’s recent article, Dickinson’s Enchantment: The Barrett Browning Fascicles Swyderski focuses on the importance of Dickinson’s arrangement of elegies to Elizabeth Barre tt Browning in the context of Fascicles 26, 29, and 31. I would like to add my analysis of Fascicle 30 into this context, utilizing as well Oberhaus’s remarkable work on the fortieth fa scicle. Since this study cannot be as fully detailed as Oberhaus’s book, I am contending, as does Swyderski, that individual fascicle analysis does not necessarily provide “blueprints” for other fascicles, and I am not arguing, as does Oberhaus, that the forty fasc icles can be read as a single work. However, reading both Oberhaus’s and Swyders ki’s studies have tremendously aided in my understanding of Fascicle 30. It is my c ontention, then, that there is the need in current Dickinson scholarship for all of the fa scicles to be individually analyzed before the assertions regarding the literary work as whole can be fully realized. Since my own educational experience involved a reading of Johnson’s printed transcriptions arranged according to the fascicle sequence, I also contend that future Dickinson scholarship should seriously consider a printe d edition of the forty fascicles. Dickinson on Publication The assumption that Dickinson required Hi gginson’s discovery is due to the fact that only ten of the 1,789 poems were publishe d during Dickinson’s lifetime. Higginson, and every editor since, determined that this lack of publication meant either (or both) a lack of editing ability on Dickinson’s part or a lack of desire to publish. Both

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13 assumptions allowed for a “free-rein” of ed itorial decisions. The presentation of the poems in a chronological sequence confirms that neither Johnson nor Franklin saw artistic merit in the case of the fascicles. Amanda Gailey’s work has established that there is a long history of discrepancy between Dickinson scholars and Dickinson’s editors. Most scholars now agree that there is a tremendous difference in not publishing because Dickinson disapproved of the form and Dickinson disapproving of the form because she could not be published accurately .4 All of the poems printed during Dickinson’s life were publis hed anonymously with regul arizations of capitals, punctuation, and meter. The ten poems were published without Dickinson’s consent. There is only one “recorded complaint about the rendering of any of her poems in print,” but this one instance is enough to indicate Dickinson’s opinion regarding the violation of editorial intrusion (Franklin 1). Dickinson’ s comment appears in a letter to Higginson following the 1866 publication of “A Narrow Fell ow in the Grass.” The editor of the Springfield Daily Republican added a comma: You may have met Him – did you not [,] His notice sudden is – Dickinson writes to Higginson, “Lest you meet my Snake and suppose I deceive it was robbed of me – defeated too of the third line by the punctuation. The third and fourth were one – I had told you I did not prin t – I feared you might think me ostensible” (quoted in Johnson, 1955, 713-714). Dickinson’s letter fully supports the idea that 4 Although, as has already been mentioned, many in the manuscript school contend that Dickinson’s refusal to print meant a denial of the print form, indicating that Dickinson wanted her poetry read in her own handwriting. Interestingly, this argument also seems to allow for a “free reign” approach to Dickinson’s poetry, albeit now using electronic versions of it. This is precisely Mitchell’s argument for pointing out the problems in taking either approach in rigidly defining how Dickinson should or must be read.

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14 Dickinson did not print because she could not be printed accurately, although this does not solve the problem of how to represent Dickinson’s poetry. We cannot assume that because Dickinson could not be printed accu rately at the time means that she never wanted to have her work printed and circ ulated to an audience beyond her friends and family (to whom she sent about 650 poems with her letters). What has been left out of editorial assumptions is that Dickinson reali zed her ability and refused to be regulated by standards of the time. Her outright refusal of regulation has been masked by the myth of the recluse who hoarded her poetry and had to be offered to the world by Higginson’s discovery. The realization by many contemporary scholar s that Dickinson could not be printed accurately, and for this reason did not pursue wide publication in her lifetime, still does not offer a resolution to contemporary concerns of how to best read Dickinson’s work. My basis for this paper is Fascicle 30, th e themes of poetry and language within this fascicle, and the importance of the fascicle context in attempting to decipher poetic content. I read Fascicle 30 to show the value of analyzing the poems as arranged in individual fascicles in order to posit that within contemporary debates of how one is to read Dickinson’s work, the fascicle sequences ar e of great import. As the epigraph to this study indicates, the myth of Dickinson can be dispelled by the poetry. Ruth Miller admits that “Any final analysis of the poe t’s intention must always be made with acknowledgement that accuracy is no longer abso lutely attainable.” Therefore, Miller is not so much concerned with pinpointing Dick inson’s intention with regards to printed versions. However, even without the aid of Franklin’s Manuscript Books Miller can say that “We may safely turn our attention to Emily Dick inson’s purpose in binding her

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15 poems as if she herself were editor, prin ter, and publisher” (248). Miller’s opinion regarding the fascicles is that they can indeed be read as evidence of not only Dickinson’s poetic ability but of her editing ability as well, a fact which has consistently been left out in editions of Dickinson’s work.5 Meta-poetical poems are not hard to find in Dickinson, but the concentrated manner in which the pow er of language and poe try is presented in Fascicle 30 is what interests me. Before I focus on the poetry in Fascicle 30, I would like to end this section with a poem that is often used to indicate Dickin son’s stance against publication. The argument has been made, and almost accepted as fact, that Dickinson viewed publication as “the Auction / Of the Mind of Man,” but this statement collapses the voice of a poem’s narrator with that of Dickinson herself.6 The poem begins “Public ation – is the Auction / Of the Mind of Man – ”, and is found in Fa scicle 37, numbered 570 according to Johnson and 660 according to Franklin. The opening in dicates a clear stance against publication. However, the narrator’s support for the opening lines is: Thought belong to Him who gave it – Then – to Him who bear Its Corporeal illustration – Sell The Royal Air – 5 While Johnson and Franklin’s scholarly editions ha ve painstakingly attempted to alter the long-held mythic view of Dickinson and to present as accu rately as possible the nuances of the manuscripts, Johnson’s 1955 hardback edition was introduced in paperback in 1961 as a reading edition. This remains the version available in bookstores for general readers. It includes no variants, no manuscript information, a single selected version of each poem; the introduction makes an utterly brief indication as to the presence of “packets,” but makes no mention of the fascicles or the amount of poems contained within them. 6 This rhetorical formulation is from the first page of Franklin’s introduction to the 1998 variorum (“Dickinson, who once called publication “the Auction / Of the Mind of Man” . .)

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16 In other words, man cannot sell creative work because the thoughts that enabled the creation of the work were given by God. Sin ce the thoughts which inspired a work were given by God, the resultant work really belongs to God. Ther efore, since the work does not truly belong to man, man cannot sell it. However, if the thoughts behind a work are given to a man by God, then what would be the point of writing down the thoughts? God already knows them, and the author knows th em, since they were given to him by God. Writing of any kind is then poi ntless. And yet, Dickinson wrote nearly eighteen hundred poems. Taken literally and i ndependently, the statement made in the first two lines is clearly against publication, but there is also the problematic opening word of the second stanza: “Possibly – ”. Even before the reader completes the poem, th is “possibly” casts a shadow of doubt on the narrator’s sincerity in declaring that “Publication is the Auction of the Mind of Man.” Clearly, since even the narrator’s view of pub lication as auctioning off one’s mind is uncertain, this poem defin itely does not offer sufficient evidence as to Dickinson’s opinion regarding publication.

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17 CHAPTER 3 FASCICLE 30 In the most detailed study yet on a singl e fascicle, as well as the most detailed argument for a possible reading of the forty fa scicles as a whole, Dorothy Huff Oberhaus scrutinizes all twenty-one poems of the fortie th fascicle. Oberhaus ’s careful analysis allows for great illumination regarding themes and images that can be found in almost all of the fascicles. Most convi ncing is how Oberhaus deftly applies the poetic content of this final fascicle back to the first fascicle in order to support her main argument that the fascicles track the protagonist’s poetic and spiritual pilgrimage, culminating in the conversion narrative of the final fascicle. Ober haus’s reading of Fasc icle 40 is to show the protagonist’s attainment of true contentment in a spiritual as well as poetic union with Jesus Christ. Oberhaus utilizes Biblical allusions throughout he r investigation, fully explaining how these allusions work in the fort ieth fascicle, as well as showing that these allusions are consistently presen t in all of the fascicles. On e of Oberhaus’s main points is that the narrative of the fortieth fascicle show s that the protagonist, as the author of the fascicles, views her poetry to be not onl y inspired by but written for Christ. While Oberhaus identifies a three-part stru cture to the poetry of Fascicle 40 and attributes this structure to a three-part conversion narrative, the same structure is not always present in all fascicles. I could not find one in Fascicle 30,1 and Ann Swyderski’s work indicates that a three-part structure is al so not apparent in the fascicles she analyzes 1 This does not mean that there is not an internal structure, but identifying and articulating it is beyond the scope of this study.

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18 (26, 29, and 31). Rather than focusing on th e Bible as literary in spiration, Swyderski identifies the overall theme to be Elizabeth Barrett Browning; hence, she terms them the Barrett Browning Fascicles. Three well-know n elegies to Barrett Browning are present in the three fascicles Swyderski focuses on, a nd Swyderski discusses th ese elegies in their fascicle context to reveal how they “reco rd her evolving relati onship with Barrett Browning” (76). Swyderski discusses not onl y how the poems eulogize the death of an established female poet, and what this may re veal about Dickinson’s relationship with her precursor, but also the textual influence of specific Barrett Browning poems, namely Aurora Leigh Swyderski’s unifying thematic thread is that as Dickinson contemplates the meaning of Barrett Browning’s death, she simultaneously is herself evolving as a poet, “becoming aware of her own power to as similate and transform previous texts” (89). This statement could also directly apply to Oberhaus’s discussion, although the previous text is the Bible a nd the relationship the protagonis t contemplates is her union with Christ. Oberhaus argues that by the fort ieth fascicle the protagonist has made peace with both her poetic and spir itual union with Christ, and Swyderski identifies as the primary subject of Fascicle 31 “Dickinson’ s renewed faith in poetry and her poetic ability” (89). Fascicle 30 fits in quite well, especially with Swyderski’s discussion since close readings of the thirtieth fascicle reveal a concentr ation on poetic and linguistic power. These are not the only themes present, of course, and they are not exclusive only to this fascicle. However, the fascicle cont ext is vastly important for my own discussion, as well as for the work of Oberhaus and Swyderski. All three studies, as I will discuss after first focusing on the clos e readings of Fascicle 30, re veal a protagonist utilizing

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19 outside texts to assist and inspire the cont emplation of her relationship with not only those texts, but also with the text she is in the midst of producing. Close readings of Fascicle 30: To begin, the poem placed fifth in Fasc icle 30 is a stunning contemplation on language itself: how language works in ever yday situations acco rding to the speaking subject and the intended audi ence, and how linguistic inves tigations are necessary in writing as well as reading a work of art. The poem opens Morningmeans Milkingto the Farmer. The poem, to paraphrase, is a discussion of the word morning, and how its definition changes according to who is defining it. The poem continues, Dawn--to the Teneriffe/ Diceto the Maid. Teneriffe is one of the Canary Islands where a certain type of wine comes from, making this line somewhat confusing since teneriffe is a place rather than a person, as is the case for the first and third lines. However, this second line indicates that morning means at dawn to the teneriffe, implying that a day begins at dawn for those who pick the particular grapes on the island of Teneriffe. The third line can be interpre ted as the morning means dicing, or the chopping required in food preparation, to the maid. The poem ends with Faint going Live s their Lapse from Sighing/ Faith The Experiment of Our Lord. These final li nes are not read as easily as the first line of the poem. In this second stanza, morni ng is referred to differently; it is no longer that morning means something to someone, but rather that someone dates something by morning. For example, the Faint going Live s date Their Laps e from Sighing with morning. The night, then, is giving those w ith Faint going Lives a reprieve from sighing. In other words, the night is a repr ieve from life. Therefore, morning becomes a way to distinguish between days that all seem the same. The poem ends with Faith

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20 The Experiment of Our Lord – ”. This can be rearranged to say th at “faith” dates “The Experiment of Our Lord” by morning. The poe m does not define what that “experiment” is, however. Humans, perhaps? The impli cation could then be that “faith” dates “humans” by morning, which puts a strange twist on the more common idea that humans keep track of faith by the morning, or that humans have complete faith in morning (i.e. the sun will always rise tomorrow). The simplicity and clarity found at the be ginning of the poem is obviously now gone, forcing the reader not only to define each word in the poem but also to take into account all possible meanings for each word as well. The reader must then figure out how the individual words work together in order to ar rive at a meaning for the poem as a whole. It is not only the definition of a word that is important, but the unde rstanding of how that definition changes depending on who or what is defining it. The poem can be read as “about” the power of words, but the poem itself is actually much more than that. The act of reading requires one not only to explore defi nitions but also to see how flexible those definitions must be since the same word can have a different meaning depending on the situation and the speaker. To elaborate slightly, the poem itself is really no more than a collection of words, but the strategic placem ent of words allows a context to form between and among the words in the mind of the reader. The poem becomes art through the ability of the writer, yet the poem simulta neously requires the c ontextualization of the reader. Therefore, the poem cannot succeed as a work without the “work” of both the writer and the reader. The same is true for the fascicles, and this poem serves in a way as a pattern for how Dickinson’s body of work functions when the fascicle sequence is studied:

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21 individual poems make up indivi dual fascicles, but individua l meanings can change when the fascicle context is considered, just as deciphering a singular meaning for a word often depends on the context. One can then move outward to consider individual fascicles in the context of all forty fascicles. The result is an array of possibili ties initially provided by the poet but contingent upon th e presence of a reader. The ninth poem in the Fascicle 30 opens with “I took my Power in my Hand – / And went against the World – ”. Since Di ckinson placed a poem about the power of words in close proximity to this poem, th e “power” mentioned here could mean the power of language and, more specifically, th e power of poetry. A ccording to the poem the narrator loses. The final line is, “Was it Goliah – was t oo large – / Or was myself – too small?” One reading is that the powe r of language (or poetry) was not enough to defeat “Goliah,” or “the Wo rld.” Obviously, however, th e narrator believes in this power, since at the beginning of the poem, it is enough “to go against the world.” The closing lines of the poem pres ent a question that is not an swered, indicating that the narrator has not necessarily give n up on “the power.” The narr ator is defeated by Goliah, and it seems reasonable to assume that Goliah and the World are synonymous, which results in self-doubt and the possibility of be ing “too small.” Yet the narrator holds off answering either way, implying hope that the na rrator is not in fact “too small.” Since the context of this poem indi cates the power as being poe try, the “Goliah” could be publication. The poem could be indicating that indeed the regularizati on is “too large” to defeat, but the poem does not declare that this means an end to poetry. The poem, “‘Morning’ – means ‘Milking’ – to the Farmer – ” is poem 300 according to Johnson's numbering system. “I took my Power in my Hand – ” is poem

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22 540. These poems are separated by only three po ems in Fascicle 30, allowing for a direct connection to be drawn between them, and addi tionally offering a subs tantial hint as to the meaning of “power” in poem 540. However, if there are 240 poems separating them, this connection is hidden. Important as well with regards to “power ” [of words] directly implying poetry is the fact that the fascicle context was created by Dickinson. Even if they were written at different dates, Dickin son chose to put them next to each other. Without being able to know concretely Dickin son’s intentions, it seem s clear that at least these poems were meant to be read together. The poem positioned twelfth within the fascicle begins “I fear a Man of frugal Speech – / I fear a Silent Man – ” and ends with the line, “I fear that He is Grand – ”. This poem is only eight lines long, and is prof essing a fear of those who do not often talk. However, one can infer that the narrator does not actually mean “fear,” as in terror, but “fear” as in a wariness of. The narrator goes on to explain that a “Haranguer – I can overtake – / Or Babbler – entert ain – ”. In this instance, “Babbler” may not be the most eloquent description, but it is nevertheless ex tremely accurate since that is what most people do: just babble. The narra tor is not respectful of thes e babblers; they are easy to entertain, and therefore, control. The narr ator does not distinguish one babbler from another babbler; they are all alike. However, the narrator notices and is wary of those who keep to themselves. The narrator believes th ese silent figures have the potential to be “grand,” while the narrator knows that the babblers are no t. This poem implies that remaining secluded from others is a conscious choice, which feminist critics argued was the case for Dickinson herself. Since biographical sketches of Dickinson have always highlighted her reclusion a nd spinsterhood, this particular poem may be read as a

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23 reasoning that contrasts with tr aditional versions of proper femininity; it was not that Dickinson was “unwanted,” or spurned by her one true love.2 Dickinson may have been “quiet” as a proper woman should be, but not for the reasons societ y put forth; rather, Dickinson realized that those who do not n eed to talk incessantly may be the most “grand.” Keeping in mind the previous discussion of frugal speech, the poem most poignant in its discussion of the power of poetry become s even more so since it consists of a mere eight lines, and closely follows “I fear a Man of frugal Speech – ”. The fourteenth poem of Fascicle 30 is included here in its entirety: The Martyr Poets – did not tell – But wrought their Pang in syllable – That when their mortal name be numb – Their mortal fate – encourage some – The Martyr Painters – never spoke – Bequeathing – rather – to their Work – That when their conscious fingers cease – 2 Oberhaus’s “discovery” that the fortieth fascicle is a three-part mediation causes one to return to previous fascicles to read from “a newly enlightened perspective” (170). Oberhaus’ analysis of the fortieth fascicle seeks to reveal that the fascicle poems can be read as intertextual, and this is the case as well for the relationship between individual fascicles. For example, Oberhaus concludes with a discussion showing the first fascicle to be a three-part meditation, similar to the final fascicle. Additionally, Oberhaus attempts to show that poems within Fascicle 40 discuss two specific “days,’ and that what happened on these days can be inferred by reading previous poems; one of these days, in Oberhaus’s evaluation, is the day the protagonist “died to the world” and began to write the fo rty fascicles. Interestingly, Franklin notes in his 1998 variorum introduction that “the sheets constituting Fascicle 1 were copied at different times during the summer and were bound in a different order in whic h they were copied. On the final sheet, Dickinson appears to have been cleaning up, ta king in various pieces lying at hand.” Both Johnson and Franklin have seemed thrown off by the fact that Dickinson was not binding or copying fascicle poems in the order she wrote them, which further supports the idea that Dickinson positioned certain poems for a reason. Oberhaus’s analysis of Fascicle 1, consequently, reveals a three-part meditation; quite different than the indication of Dickinson needing to clean up.

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24 Some seek in Art – the Art of Peace – The definition of the word “pang” is “a sharp attack of ment al anguish; a piercing spasm of pain.” This is an amazingly accurate use of diction, and refe rs to mental rather than physical pain. It can refer to both a li fe experience that a poet is writing about, and to the act of writing itself. The pain of the poets is silent, as in the line “did not tell – ”. For a poet, poetry replaces traditional spoken di scourse, with the poets in this particular poem seeking solace in “syllable.” However, the last lines of the first stanza seem to indicate an additional motive for translating the “pang” into poetry: the pain may cease when the poet becomes “numb” but the poetry will continue. The fate of the poet, according to the poem, can and will encourage those in the futu re; all poets will die, but poetry lives on. The poem is to encourage futu re poets, perhaps, to do the same as the “Martyr Poets.” Pain creates art that outlasts even death. The second stanza discusses the art of painters, who are also silent and give “rather – to their Work.” Painting, then, is the onl y voice a painter needs. The final line, however, seems to include not only artists, but those who “seek” out art: “Some seek in Art – the Art of Peace – ”. This beautiful finale refers to the power of art in general, and to the peace that a listener, reader, or viewer finds as well as the peace the artist sought in producing the work. Reading this poem in the context of Fascicle 30 leads to a possible point regarding Dickinson’ s view of the power of art, and of poetry in particular. It does not seem logical that any artist would produce art so lely to keep it hidden away, and this poem seems to confirm how Dickinson approached the idea of art, its benefit for the artist and for the viewer. Dickinson wrot e poetry seeking peace, and whether or not she found it is not a ques tion that can be answered. Dick inson does seem to have figured out she would not gain fame in her lifetim e since editors would not publish her poetry

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25 exactly as she wrote it, but this did not pr event her from continuing to write. The poem indicates that part of a poe t’s inspiration for writing without earthly fame is the assumption that there would be a future audience, and the poems would someday “encourage some.” Luckily for us, Dickins on had faith in the future of her poetry. The poem directly following “The Martyr Poets – did not tell – ” opens with the lines, “I cross till I am weary / A Mountain – in my mind – ”. This is a fairly long poem (25 lines) and is usually read as a contemplation of wh at happens after death: At last – the Grace in sight – I shout unto my feet – I offer them the Whole of Heaven The instant that we meet – They strive – and yet delay – They perish – Do we die – Or is this Death's Experiment – Reversed – in Victory? The opening lines refer to a physical w eariness, which would come, obviously, from crossing a mountain. However, the phr ase “in my mind” makes the weariness come from thinking. This could come from the thinking about the subject part icular to the rest of the poem (what happens after death), but al so from thinking, in and of itself; in the context of Fascicle 30, the thinking and writi ng of poetry. This connection to poetry, of course, does not have to be a part of the interp retation of this particul ar poem, but if this poem were read independently of the other fascicle poems, most likely a connection to thinking or poetry would not even come a bout. This poem is an example of the

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26 importance of reading the fascicle sequence because the context opens up possibilities that would otherwise be hidden. The seventeenth poem of Fascicle 30 begi ns “There is a Shame of Nobleness – / Confronting Sudden Pelf – ”.3 I read these lines as indicating that a sense of guilt follows when one suddenly acquires wealth. (The defini tion of “pelf” is weal th, often dishonestly acquired.) The narrator goes on to explain that “A best Disgrace – a Brave Man feels – / Acknowledged – of the Brave – ”. The poem is addressing the fact that one may be shameful or disgraced at having wealth and brav ery. This is contrary to the idea of being wealthy and brave as a goal that most people strive to achieve. According to the poem, once material success is obtained, one may feel a need to hide one’s wealth or accomplishments due to a sense of guilt or shame. In the context of this fascicle, this poem could also be addressing creative genius perhaps including Dickinson’s ability to write poetry, which is also supported by Di ckinson’s concern to Higginson of not wanting to be thought “ostensi ble.” A risk of embarrassme nt goes along with being very good at something since one may very likely be singled out and held apart (or above) everyone else. If Dickinson believed in he r ability, and was praised for it by those close to her, yet still could not get her poetry publishe d exactly as she wanted it, then a sense of shame or disgrace could have easily arisen from time to time. Poem nineteen begins “One Crucifixion is recorded – only – ”, and the final two poems clearly invoke marriage; the final poem ends “Dressed to meet You – / See – in 3 Only one poem separates “There is a Shame of Noblene ss – ” from “I cross till I am weary.” It is an odd poem since it is not in Dickinson’s typical style. The fi rst stanza reads, “Answer July – / Where is the Bee – / Where is the Blush – / Where is the Hay?” and the following three stanzas indicate as well the ubi sunt form. This poem could be seen as Dickinson experimenting with a recognizable genre, but positioning it within the fascicle context adds another layer of meaning. Since a main theme of the poetry in Fascicle 30, as well as in near-by fascicles, is a poet finding her voice, the poem could be seen as a poet saying, “I could write like this, if I wanted to.”

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27 White!” The discussion of poetic and linguist ic power seems to ha ve disappeared, and one finishes the fascicle with seemingly unrelated images of Christ’s crucifixion and a white wedding. Oberhaus’s discussion, however, re veals that all three themes can in fact be quite beautifully tied together. Oberhaus’s discussion of fascicle forty focuses on both a poetic as well as spiritual relationship with Christ, arguing that th e two are so closely intertwined that they are inseparable; hence, Dickinson does not separate them within a single fascicle, which is the case in Fascic le 30. The fortieth fascicle may be the culmination of the protagonist’s spiritual a nd poetic journey, but the intertwining themes of Fascicle 30 I read as the poet making her way. Similarly, Swyderski’s reading of the Barrett Browning Fascicles is centered on a poet making her way, although the discussion is obviously focused more on just the poetic movement of Dickinson and her relationship with Barrett Browning. Since it is easier to collapse a poem’s narrator with the actual author in elegies, Swyderski continually refers to Dickinson as the author/narrator in the Barrett Browning elegies. However, Swyderski is also interested in the textual influence of Aurora Leigh and thus opens her discussion with Barrett Browning’s description of Aurora Leigh as “‘An autobiography of a poetess – (not me) . On a separate occasion [Barrett Browning] also claimed to have, ‘put mu ch of myself in it – I mean to say, of my soul, my thoughts, emotions, opinions’” (77). Swyderski believes these statements apply to Dickinson’s fascicles as well, yet Oberhaus continually refers to a protagonist, who is shown by the poems to be the author of the fasc icles, and Oberhaus always refers to this protagonist as a “she”. Oberhaus summarizes Fascicle 40 as a privat e mediation that uses allusions to the Bible and to earlier fascicle poems. Oberhaus refers to the final fascicle as an internal

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28 mediation, but one that involves Jesus, who “t he meditator refers to and addresses and who himself speaks to her throughout F-40” (14) Oberhaus identifies the main narrative structure of Fascicle 40 as a three-part conversio n narrative, but the poetry within this fascicle alludes back to two other occasions of conversion, which Oberhaus describes as the day the protagonist “died to the world” and began writin g the fascicles; the second day of her conversion, the protagonist “in so me way ‘saw’ Christ, and their union became complete, a union she celebrates throughout F-40 as their betrothal” (20). By conversion, Oberhaus means not only a full spiritual conversion but a poe tic one, where the protagonist becomes a fully real ized Christian poet by Fascic le 40. The fascicles, then, can read as this particular poet’s spiritual and poetic journey, not without tumultuous and painful moments of self-doubt as well as doubt in Christ, but “in th e fascicle’s present time she has attained a plateau of joy and su ccess” (20). A moment of great confidence along this journey can be seen in F-30’s “The Martyr Poets – did not tell – ”. The discussion of poetic ability and power is highly concentrated in F-30, much more so than in F-40 where the main focus is on Christ and the prot agonist’s relationship with Him. However, the ending poems of the thirtieth fascicle tie in with Oberhaus’s discussion of the continual meshing of poetic voice/spiritual voice, often represented through the image of marriage. By F-40, acco rding to Oberhaus, the protagonist has become a single-mindedly Christian poet, wh ere her poems are both to Him, meaning intended to praise Him, but are also from Him, meaning not only inspired by Him but written with the purpose to inform others about Him. However, the protagonist’s confidence in Christ is not yet complete in Fascicle 30. The final marriage poems in

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29 Fascicle 30 do not depict the union of the pr otagonist with Christ, but the penultimate poem definitely and deftly intertwines Christian faith with love on earth: The Sweetest Heresy received That Man and Woman know – Each Other’s Convert – Though the Faith accommodate but Two – The Churches are so frequent – The Ritual – so small – The Grace so unavoidable – To fail – is Infidel – The narrator is quite distanced from marriage, indicating perhaps that the protagonist’s conversion to Chri st and the subsequent “death to the world” discussed in F-40 has indeed happened since the narrator is obviously lo oking at marriage between a man and a woman from a distance. Howeve r, what has not yet occurred is the protagonist’s “joy and confidence” in being in union only with Christ. There is a deep reverence and curiosity about th is “Faith” of “Two”; despite being a “Heresy,” it is the “Sweetest” that humans know. And there is biting condemnation for those who “fail” at this “ritual” where the “Grace” is given so fr eely as to be “unavoidable.” Could there be a double meaning as well to this notion of fa ilure? Perhaps the pr otagonist is talking about her own failure to be converted to this “Faith” of “Two”? In this sense, however, the failure could not be about ea rthly marriage at all, but fail ure in regard to a spiritual union with Christ. This brief discussion of th e closing poetry to the thirtieth fascicle is meant to reinforce Oberhaus’s claim that reading the fortieth fascicle makes one return to

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30 previous fascicles with new “enlightened perspe ctive.” This ability to enlighten a reader could apply to all the fascicles, however (m eaning enlightenment in general and not just in reference to one’s ability to read other Di ckinson fascicles). One can easily claim that reading Dickinson always results in enlightenment, and her poems rarely fail to provide a (re)new(ed) and fascinating read ing experience. I would like to end this s ection on Fascicle 30 by addr essing whether or not the author of the fascicles as represented in the poetry is Dickinson hers elf. Interesting to note is the influence of Aurora Leigh as well as its author; Sw yderski says that Barrett Browning’s poem and Dickinson’s fascicle s “are both texts which explore the experiences and development of a ‘woman and ar tist’” (77). Oberhaus also addresses this issue, saying that while we must assu me the speaker to be a “supposed person,”4 the parallels between the fascicles’ prot agonist and her creator are striking: The protagonist, like her creator, lives in Amherst; has a sister and a friend, Sue; has red hair and hazel eyes; and has reje cted the church of her contemporaries, choosing instead to keep the Sabbath alone in her garden. More important, she is represented as the forty fascicles’ author. She, like Emily Dickinson, died to the world. She, too, is an unpublished poet who has been freed from poetic “Laws.” Her business, too, is loving, singing, and “Circumference” (184). It is not important, in the end, to deci de whether or not th e experience of the protagonist is the experience of Emily Dickinson; it is not im portant to decide whether or not Emily Dickinson “experienced a trans cendent day in which she ‘saw’ and was betrothed to Christ” (184). As Barrett Browning expressed regarding Aurora Leigh it is possible for a poet to create a character that is not the poet herself, yet it is necessary to 4 L268 to Higginson: “When I state myself, as the Repr esentative of the Verseit does not meanmebut a supposed person.”

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31 use all of one’s soul, thoughts, emotions, and opinions in order to create that character. What is important, then, is to preserve th at character, to preser ve the method of that character’s presentation. In Dickinson’s cas e, this means preserving the fascicles, and important as well for modern readers, is their dissemination.

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32 CHAPTER 4 VARIANTS Deciphering Dickinson’s handwriting has al one proved to be a great hindrance to what many scholars are now terming the “trans lation” of Dickinson’s poems to print. Practical considerations, such as whether or no t a letter that looks to be capitalized is meant to be capitalized and whether or not Di ckinson intended a line break or was forced to do so by the paper size, are among the slew of difficulties in formulating accurate translations. One of the most problematic issues, however, is how one is to read the variants. Sharon Cameron succinctly sums up the physi cal presence of the variants in order to study in detail what these variants mean for the identity of the poetry: The earliest fascicles have no variants; th e first occurrence of a variant is in Fascicle 5, and there are only five other variants for poems through Fascicle 10. These variants, often multiple, and not uniformly positioned at the end of the poem, are sometimes signaled in the facsimile te xt by the little + signs that Dickinson used near a word to indicate va riants to that word. In the facsimile text the variants appear in the following diverse positions: at the end of the poem, to the side of the poem, and underneath or above a particular stanza, word or line…Only in the later years of the copying are the variants positione d characteristically at the poem’s end, Dickinson having apparently standardized her placement of them. (8-11) Johnson termed these words “variant readings ,” while Franklin referred to them as “alternative” or “unresolved readings.” The pr esence of the variants appear to be simply problematic for Johnson and Franklin, rath er than having any artistic meaning and requiring additional attention. Both editors seem to view the variants as “unresolved” in Franklin’s terms, meaning that Dickinson could not make a final decision herself, thus

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33 allowing one to be made for her. This again goes back to the underlying idea that Dickinson did not recognize her own genius, could not edit her own work (despite the fascicles), and therefore had to be “helped out.” Johnson stat es in the introduction of the 1961 paperback edition of The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson that: The text for this edition reproduces solely and completely that of the 1955 variorum edition, but intended as a reading text it selects but one form of each poem. Inevitably therefore one is forced to ma ke some editorial decisions about a text which never was prepared by the author as copy for the printer. (x) Both Johnson’s and Franklin’s variorum editions include the variant readings placed at the bottom of the page. Obviously, Johnson did not consider the fascicles as enough preparation by the author and my question is why Dickinson does not have many variants until around Fascicle 9? Consid ering the discussion re garding Dickinson’s Fascicle 30, perhaps the realiz ation that she would not be published accurately is also evidenced in the eventual presence of the variants, indicating a “giving up” of keeping the fascicles perfect enough “as copy for th e printer.” Dickinson’s intentions, again, cannot be known, but for quite a long period of time, editors of her work have presented and published the poetry in such a fashion th at an “average” reader, as opposed to a scholar of Dickinson with privilege to st udy the manuscripts or at least possess the knowledge as to the existence of the fascicles and variants would get the impression that the editors did know Dickinson’s intentions.12 My particular interest here is the important distinction of recognizing Dickinson’s editing ability versus the long-held assumption that editing decisions had to be made for her, and the importance in this 12 The most interesting aspect of Annette Debo’s article is her relation of student responses to the discovery of how drastically editing practices can alter an author’s work.

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34 seemingly minute distinction is quite str ongly supported by Dickinson’s reaction to the addition of an unwanted comma in “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass.” Besides whether or not to attribute inte ntion to the appearance of Dickinson’s handwriting, the effects of the variants are one issue at the heart of the Dickinson Wars. The “manuscript only” camp argues that the vi sual effect of these words, including how and where they are placed on the page, is integr al to the meaning of the poem. Therefore, since print cannot adequately reflect the vi sual qualities, any version besides the manuscript original is corrupted. Especially in non-fascicle poems, a good case can often be made for this point of view. Melanie H ubbard, for example, uses the case of a “poem written on the back of a ‘discarded kitc hen memorandum’ (as recorded by Johnson under J1147) [that] spells at the difference of a se lf from itself over time.” The theme of the poem, according to Hubbard, may have been inspired by the paper on which it was written: an illegible shoppi ng list written years earlier by Dickinson. Apparently, Dickinson could not read her own handwriting and thus flipped the shopping list over to write a poem about the inability of the presen t self to “recognize” a representation of an older self. In this case, it is almost undeniable that the material artif act is integral to the poetic content. However, as Mitchell has often argued, reading the manuscript of this poem, or at the very least having the manus cript information regarding how and on what this poem is composed, proves to be an extrem ely interesting reading experience that is full of possibilities. It does not mean that Di ckinson wanted her poems to be read only in manuscript form.13 13 Hubbard does go on to offer more examples, centeri ng her main argument on the fact that reading the manuscript originals allows, above all else, for an e xperience as a reader that just cannot occur when reading Dickinson in print form as well as digital or facsimile reproductions. Hubbard seems to align in places with Mitchell’s concern that current technology offers the illusion of bein g at Dickinson’s scene of

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35 Sharon Cameron’s title, Choosing Not Choosing represents her particular stance on the possibilities for Dickinson’s variants: that Dickinson chose not to publish since a print form could not adequately portray her poetr y, since the variants are not alternative possibilities but integral to the poem; a repr esentation of choosing not to choose one word or phrase over another. Camer on attributes great importance to the fascicles, and directly addresses the issue of aut horial intention by concluding that “we do know Dickinson intended something. After all, she copied the poems into fascicles” (Cameron 18). Cameron’s argument as to Dickinson’s lack of choice regarding a “fin al version” of the fascicle poems is based in considering the variants “as inclusive rather than substitutive” (63). Cameron views Dickinson as offering the va riants in order to extend the identity of a poem, and of the possi bilities of poetry. In Cameron’s point of view, th e variants as well as their visual presence in the manus cripts are imperative in any speculation regarding the identity of a Dickinson poem. While Came ron makes a convincing case for this, I have noticed that the variant words ar e often less specific than the words in the final poem. All manuscript scholars have read the variants as coming after Dickinson completed the final poem. From an artist ic point of view, though, it makes more sense that the variant words came before the final version copied into the fascicle. Dickinson burned her worksheets and the fascicle poems ar e copied in ink, so perhaps, for reasons that must be left unknown, Dickinson still record ed previous versions of words or lines of a final poem into the manuscrip ts, resulting in the variants. My proof of this is found only in the comparison of final poems with variant poems, and quite often, enough at writing, but Hubbard does clearly state that Dickinson’s refusal to print “allowed her to explore the materiality of representation, to undertake increasingly experimental forms of representation, and to deliver creative power to the reader” (54). Hubbard’s examples do indeed provide quite persuasive proof along these lines; certain poems could very well be Dickinson’s experimentation with materiality.

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36 least to be a possibility, the variant poem is less specific a nd less artistically perfect than the final poem. In a sense, my close readi ngs of both the variant poem and the final poem support Johnson’s original editorial decision to print only the final poem. It could be argued that Johnson was not making the choice for Dickinson, but that he was representing what Dickinson finally decided regarding which words or lines made for the best poem. However, the fact that Johnson undid the fascicle sequenc e indicates that he saw himself as making the choice for her.14 Since recent fascicle critics have already convincingl y portrayed the fascicle sequence as tremendously important to the study of Dickinson, my discussion of the variants is primarily meant to show the fa scinating results of reading the “two” poems side by side. Oberhaus as well often includes the variants to aid in a better understanding of a poem, yet she does not make the claim that perhaps the vari ant words were from earlier versions of the same poem. Practic al editing considerati ons require editorial decisions that are extremely difficult but necessary to make. For the general reader of Dickinson, bringing the issue of the variant wo rds to light can result in a deeper and richer reading experience, but definitely not an easier one. However, the variants add a fascinating layer for discussion in the ongoi ng debate of manuscript versus printed readings of Dickinson’s poems. 14 I am aware of the fact that my discussion here of the variants as coming before the final poem does assume the impossible: authorial intention. I mean my discussion to be interesting for inquiry, however, and am open to other possibilities and readings. However, I do think that representing ED as a capable editor is important, and my view of the variants may help suggest to a general audience Dickinson’s capabilities in this regard. Printed editions are a prac tical necessity, both in the classroom as well as for general readership. Despite scholarly knowledge to the contrary, the myth of ED as a love-spurned, crazy recluse is still a popular perception. This percep tion is problematic not only for Dickinson, but for historical and contemporary portrayals and perceptions of femininity.

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37 In my study of the Manuscript Books I found that in several cases reading the “variant” poem alongside the “final” poem allowed for a better, more complete understanding of the poem overall. My list of examples provided here is utterly brief considering the large number of poems contai ned within the fascicles. I will continue adding to this list until I have compared all poems with variants in this side by side manner (see Appendix A).15 Of course, I do not have time to do this here, but I do think only a few explanatory examples are necessary for the reader to see my point. Example 1: Some such Butterfly be seen On Brazilian Pampas – Just at noon – no later – Sweet – Then – the License closes – Some such Spice – express and pass – Subject to Your Plucking – As the Stars – You knew last Night – Foreigners – This Morning – There are only a few variant words that Dickinson leaves behind, which are in italics: In the third line, “Just at noon – no later than – Sweet – ”. In the fourth line, “Then – the Vision – Pageant – closes – ”. In the fifth line, “Some such Rose – express 15 I only take three examples to describe in the text as to why the variants are important and what it means to think about the variant poem as being an earlier draft. In Appendix A, poems 1-10 in Fascicle 30 are my transcriptions presented in a side by side manner. This presentation makes direct comparisons between the two full poems easier. Compare to Johnson’s and Franklin’s methods of showing the variants (see Appendix B, C, and D).

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38 and pass – ”. And in the sixth line, “Present to Your Plucking – ”. Reading the final poem along with a version of th e poem with the variants in serted, which in my opinion came first, allows a better unders tanding regarding the overall poem. In the fifth line, a “Rose” is much easier to pluck (as happens in th e sixth line) than a “Spice.” In fact, what exactly the narrator means by “Spice” is not really clear. Knowing the variant word, however, to be “Rose,” one can infer that th e final word choice “Spice” means the smell of the rose. In line four, Dickinson uses th e phrase, “the License closes,” but first had “the Vision Pageant.” In fact both of these lines are somewh at confusing. In the final version (the one that would be found in printed versions) it is not really clear what “License” closes. The original line is even more confusing: What “vision pageant” is being referred to and what exactly is the significance of it? Knowing both versions, however, clarifies a possible overall meaning: it is the “license” [to view] the “vision pageant” of the butterfly that closes. Without the variant, however, this meaning could not be easily attributed to th e final line. Knowing the variant words also allows the reader to see the ability of Dickinson to refi ne her idea and get rid of useless words. For example, in the final version of the poem, Di ckinson could have put in the entire phrase, “the License [to view] closes.” This, however, would interru pt the flow and eloquence of the poem. The variant for the final line of the poem offers the most interesting example. Instead of “Foreigners,” Dickinson first ha d “Know not you – ”. The entire line would read “As the Stars – You knew last Night – / Know not you – This morning.” The word choice of “foreigners” is much more specific, and if one only knew of the final version of the poem, then the last line is somewhat c onfusing. We are not ex actly sure why “the

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39 stars you knew last night” would be “foreigne rs” in the morning. But the variant phrase makes it clear: because the stars “know not you.” It is also interes ting to note that here the definition of foreigners, when taking both ve rsions into consideration, is “those whom do not know you.” People would more commonly imagine that foreigners are “those who you do not know.” This perhaps reveals a pa th, however slight, into Dickinson’s mind, and allows for a deeper, and clearer, mean ing to the poem. “Foreigners” is more poignant and powerful than the phrase “know not you.” All of Dickinson’s final word choices here make for the better poem, but having the variants clarifies the meaning behind the poem. Example 2: Another interesting instance where knowledge of the variants changes and adds to the meaning of the poem is “I took my Po wer in my Hand – ”, which was discussed previously in the context of Fascicle 30. I will again include the entire poem to make visual sense a bit easier: I took my Power in my Hand – And went against the World – ‘Twas not so much as David – had – But I – was twice as bold – I aimed my Pebble – but Myself Was all the one that fell – Was it Goliah – was too large – Or was myself – too small?

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40 The only variant is in regards to the final line, but it is fascin ating to contemplate exactly what this change does to the poem: Was it Goliah – was too large – Or just myself – Only Me – I – Artistically, the eventual e nding to the poem is tremendous ly better. In fact, the variant line does not really make sense. What is striking about the variant line, though, is the sense of isolation. The line reads almost as though it were at one time an accident, the words just pouring out onto the page, not fi tting with the above line at all or making much sense, but starkly indicating what the rest of the poem implies: aloneness, one person against the world. Taking the two different final lines into consideration, Dickinson obviously had to make a change in order to make the final line choice fit with the line above. This could indicate that in itially Dickinson did not see “herself” (or any poet for that matter) as small, but rather in isolation: just myself against the world. The line, “Or was myself – too small?” does not ca rry the same sense of isolation, at least not as explicitly and as powerfully as “Or just myse lf – Only Me – I – ”. However, this line is not posed as a question, indicating that th e narrator is stating isolation rather than running away from it (or the world). When c onsidering these two endings, a reader gets a better sense of feelings behind the actual words, and also sees the narrat or in various lighting: “small” yet going against the worl d, and alone, isolated, yet firm and in possession of a “Power.” Again, as the fascicle context of the poems opens up other possibilities, so too do th e variants; a reader may better understand a poem, the

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41 underlying message or feeling of the poem, and perhaps, if I may be so bold, Dickinson’s creative process.16 Example 3: One final example of the variant words may also shed light on the previous discussion of Dickinson’s opinions on th e relationship between poetry, art, and publication: The Martyr Poets – did not tell – But wrought their Pang in syllable – That when their mortal name be numb – Their mortal fate – encourage Some – Dickinson’s variant to “name” is “fame,” a nd while only one lett er is changed, the difference in meaning, especi ally in consideration of the discussions regarding publication, is enormous. In the above versi on, the indication is th at the Martyr Poets were aware that at some point their mortal name becomes numb, most likely meaning the 16 Johnson writes in the introduction to the 1955 variorum th at “The largest part of the poetry exists but in a single draft, whatever the state of composition might be and for that reason relatively few poems show her creative method” (xxxiv). However, as Johnson continues to explain, “these relatively few add up to a considerable total,” meaning that a sizeable number of poems do exist in multiple versions, such as a poem contained in a fascicle that was also sent out in a letter, or the same poem altered for being sent to different people. Johnson refers to the fascicles here as packet s, and offers a few examples of fascicle poems that were sent as “final copies,” meanin g without any variants, to friends. Johnson refers to the fascicle poems that have variants as “a fair copy [turned into] a worksheet draft…leaving th e poems in a particularly chaotic state,” although Johnson indicates that these va riants are possibilities if Dickinson were ever to take up a final draft. He gives an example of a fascicle poem that had six possibilities, but in the poem included with a letter to Sue, there is only one of those possibilities selected with four other changes not even mentioned in the “semifinal draft” contained in the fascic le (xxxiv). If the variants are read as remainders from rough drafts, many poems can be seen as showing Dickinson’s creative process is shown. It also seems that Dickinson only intended a single word for the poem, or else she could have sent poems to friends that included the variants, allowing the reader to choose. It could even be possible that Dickinson kept a record of her creative process for herself; the manuscripts can be read, then, as semi-final drafts still in a workshop phase, as Johnson has suggested. However, it can no longer be denied that Dickinson positioned the poems within individual fascicles for a r eason, meaning that most likely, the entire body of fascicle poems was put together with eventual publication in mind, and perhaps this would have taken place if Dickinson believed that the publishers of her time would print her poems as she wanted them to be printed. Franklin’s variorum offe rs all necessary inform ation regarding multiple versions for each poem.

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42 physical death of the poet(s), but that their mortal fate will still encourage some. To paraphrase, the poetry, and likewise the poet since the “pang” was necessary to produce the “syllable,” will live on after the person of the poet is dead. The name will too live on since it will be attached to the poetry, but the focus and th e importance is the poetry, not the name. If fame is interchanged, the mean ing is now that the fame of the poet is unimportant since it too will “be numb” wh en the person of the poet succumbs to inevitable death. Consequently, the word “mortal” becomes more important in this version of the poem: the poet’s “earthly” fame will dissipate, but the “earthly” fate can still encourage some as the poetry lives on after death, and perhap s continues the poet’s earthly fame. Taking into account that this poem may have been inspired by, or at least written soon after, Elizabeth Barrett Brow ning’s death, the minute change becomes all the more important. Since Barrett Browning had earthly fame but was now dead, the variant version seems to specifically speak to and about Barrett Browning, while the change to “name” can be read as applying mo re directly to Dickinson. Dickinson had realized by now that her poetry would never be printed in her lifetime, but Dickinson continues not only writing poetr y but binding the fascicles. Another possible reason for Dickinson not publishing in her lifetime could be due to her reserv ations about becoming famous. Dickinson wrote in a letter to Higginson that “if fame belonged to me, I could not escape her.”17 It is quite possible, then, that Di ckinson denied the print form not only because she could not be printed exactly as sh e wished but because she also did not want to become famous. All Dickinson’s pub lished poems were anonymous, which may indicate not only Dickinson’s re servations of becoming famous but the knowledge that if 17 This sentence is the epigraph to Johnson’s 1955 edition.

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43 she allowed the publication of her poetry, she would become famous. Such confidence can also be found in the poetry itself, furthe ring the idea that it was not the form that Dickinson denied but the fame that would undoubtedly go along with publication in print.

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44 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION Dickinson’s poetry has withstood the tu multuous publication history of the manuscripts, and despite heated debates w ith no “real” solutions, the “Dickinson Wars” will ensure a continual and intense focus on Dickinson’s poetry, no matter what “proper” form one believes the poems should take. While the myth of Dickinson still remains, it appears to be fading. Amanda Gailey mentions that the 2002 Norton Anthology of American Literature edited by a panel of professors under the direction of Nina Baym, does contain a four-page biography of Dickin son, but it “is detailed and careful, and resists traditional caricature and trendy sens ationalism” (Gailey 80). More importantly, however, is that this Norton Anthology contains eighty-one po ems and six letters, indicating that anthologists ha ve come to a realization that Emily Dickinson cannot be “summed up” too easily. Despite scholarly attention to the material details of Dickinson’s manuscripts, including the fascicles, it will nevertheless always remain necessary to present Dickinson in print form For this, Franklin has proved to be an astoundingly brilliant contribu tor to Dickinson studies. T hough no editor can be without flaws, any project of putting Di ckinson into print must seem endless and, in fact, this seems to be exactly the case with Dickinson. The intent of this study was not meant to be against Dickinson’s editors, although I fully realize it often reads as denying the importance of Johnson’s and Franklin’s work. My opinion re garding the utter importance of the fascicles stems from not only scholarly inquiry, but from a personal reading relationship with the fa scicles that began my interest in Dickinson in the first

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45 place. Thus, at the heart of this study is a deep reverence for the astounding poetic ability of an author many say is shrouded in myst ery, but my first reading of the fascicles revealed quite clearly a fascinating person. I know this person is not the Emily Dickinson, and hence this study is attempting to articulate a personal relationship with an imaginary friend; something not quite easily perf ormed to say the least. And this is of course the plight of all “tra nslations” of poetry and poets, whether from manuscript form to printed form, or personal reading experien ces into scholarly criticism. The poet we know as Emily Dickinson realized this dilemma long before a ny of us currently searching for answers within her poems, and Dickinson’s poetry has undeniably fulfilled the aspirations of “The Martyr Poets”: her name now, Dickinson and not Emily, is a powerful force that extends far beyond a hope to merely “encourage some.”

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46 APPENDIX A SIDE-BY-SIDE REPRESENTATION OF VARIANTS My transcriptions from Franklin’s The Manuscript Books of Emily Dickinson Volume II, Fascicle 30, poems 1-10. The numbers are according to Johnson’s 1961 paperback edition. The left column is what I call the final version of the poem, and the right column is what I call the variant versi on. The variant version is a full poem with all variant substitutions made, and is what I think came before the final version. I attempted to as closely as possible transcribe dir ectly from the facsimile copy, but I did double check with both Johnson’s and Franklin’s pr inted editions in order to have another opinion regarding Dickinson’s handwriting. There may also be some discrepancy between my printed version in line breaks due to the constr aints of the column size. There may also be some alterations in my pr inted versions from Johnson’s and Franklin’s since Dickinson’s method of indicating where a variant should go is of ten confusing; in a few cases, there is a variant at the bottom w ith no clear indication as to its place in the poem.

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47 515 No Crowd that has occurred ExhibitI suppose That General Attendance That ResurrectiondoesCircumference be fullThe long restricted Grave Assert her Vital PrivilegeThe Dustconnectand liveOn Atomsfeatures placeAll Multitudes that were Efface in the ComparisonAs Sunsdissolve a starSolemnityprevailIts Individual Doom Possess each separate ConsciousnessAugustAbsorbedNumb What DuplicateexistWhat Parallel can beOf the Significance of ThisTo Universeand Me? 516 Beautybe not causedIt IsChase it, and it ceasesChase it not, and it abidesOvertake the Creases In the Meadowwhen the Wind Runs his fingers thro’ itDeity will see to it That You never do it517 He parts Himselflike LeavesAnd thenHe closes upThen stands upon the Bonnet Of Any Buttercup515 No Crowd that has occurred ExhibitI suppose That General Attendance That ResurrectiondoesCircumference be fullThe long subjected Grave Assert Hid PrimogenitureThe Dustadjustand liveOn Atomsfeatures placeAll Multitudes that were Efface in the ComparisonAs Sunsannul a starSolemnityprevailIts Individual Doom Possess each separate ConsciousnessAugustResistlessDumb What DuplicateexistWhat Scenery can beOf the Stupendousness of ThisTo Universeand Me? 516 Beautyis not causedIt IsChase it, and it ceasesChase it not, and it abidesOvertake the Creases In the Meadowwhen the Wind Runs his fingers thro’ itDeity will see to it That You never do it517 He parts Himselflike LeavesAnd thenHe closes upAnd then He leans with all His might Upon a Buttercup-

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48 And then He runs against And oversets a RoseAnd then does NothingThen away upon a JibHe goesAnd dangles like a Mote Suspended in the NoonUncertainto return BelowOr settle in the MoonWhat come of Himat NightThe privilege to say Be limited by IgnoranceWhat come of HimThat DayThe Frostpossess the WorldIn Cabinetsbe shownA Sepulchre of quaintest FlossAn Abbeya Cocoon520 I started EarlyTook my DogAnd visited the SeaThe Mermaids in the Basement Came out to look at meAnd the Frigatesin the Upper Floor Extended Hempen HandsPresuming Me to be a MouseAgroundupon the SandsBut no Man moved Metill the Tide Went past my simple ShoeAnd past my Apronand my Belt And past my BodicetooAnd made as He would eat me upAs wholly as a Dew Upon a Dandelion’s SleeveAnd thenI startedtoo And HeHe followedclose behindI felt His Silver Heel Upon my AnkleThen my Shoes Would overflow with PearlAnd then He runs against And overturns a RoseAnd then does NothingThen away upon a JibHe goesAnd dangles like a Mote Suspended in the NoonIndifferentto return BelowOr settle in the MoonWhat come of Himat NightThe liberty to sayAuthorityBe limited by IgnoranceWhat come of HimThat DayThe Frostobtain the WorldIn Cabinetsbe shownA Sepulchre of quaintest FlossAn Abbeya Cocoon520 I started EarlyTook my DogAnd visited the SeaThe Mermaids in the Basement Came out to look at meAnd the Frigatesin the Upper Floor Extended Hempen HandsPresuming Me to be a MouseAgroundupon the SandsBut no Man moved Metill the Tide Went past my simple ShoeAnd past my Apronand my Belt And past my BosomtooAnd made as He would eat me upAs wholly as a Dew Upon a Dandelion’s SleeveAnd thenI startedtoo And HeHe followedclose behindI felt His Silver Heel Upon my AnkleThen my Shoes Would overflow with Pearl-

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49 Until We met the Solid TownNo One He seemed to knowAnd bowingwith a mighty lookAt meThe Sea withdrew300 “Morning”–means “Milking”to the FarmerDawnto the TeneriffeDiceto the MaidMorning means just Risk-to the LoverJust revelationto the BelovedEpicuresdate a Breakfastby itBridesan ApocalypseWorldsa FloodFaint going LiveTheir Lapse from SighingFaithThe Experiment of Our Lord521 Endow the Livingwith the TearsYou squander on the Dead, And They were Men and Womennow, Around Your FiresideInstead of Passive Creatures, Denied the Cherishing Till Theythe Cherishing denyWith Death’s Ethereal Scorn538 ‘Tis trueThey shut me in the ColdBut thenThemselves were warm And could not know the feeling ‘twasForget itLordof ThemLet not my Witness hinder Them In Heavenly esteemNo Paradise could beConferredThrough Their beloved Blame The Harm They didwas shortAnd since Until We met the Solid TownNo Man He seemed to knowAnd bowingwith a mighty lookAt meThe Sea withdrew300 No variants 521 Endow the Livingwith the TearsYou spend upon the Dead, And They were Men and Womennow, Around Your FiresideInstead of Passive Creatures, Denied the Cherishing Till Theythe Cherishing denyWith Death’s Ethereal Scorn538 ‘Tis trueThey shut me in the ColdBut thenThemselves were warm And did not know the feeling ‘twasForget itChristof ThemLet not my Witness Them impair In Heavenly esteemNo Paradise could beConferredThrough Their beloved Blame The Harm They didwas briefAnd since

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50 Myselfwho bore itdoForgive ThemEven as MyselfOr elseforgive not me539 The Province of the Saved Should be the ArtTo saveThrough Skill obtained in ThemselvesThe Science of the Grave No Man can understand But He that hath endured The Dissolutionin HimselfThat Manbe qualified To qualify Despair To Those who failing newMistake Defeat for DeathEach timeTill acclimatedto540 I took my Power in my HandAnd went against the World‘Twas not so much as DavidhadBut Iwas twice as boldI aimed my Pebblebut Myself Was all the one that fellWas it Goliahwas too largeOr was myselftoo small? 541 Some such Butterfly be seen On Brazilian PampasJust at noon-no laterSweetThenthe License closesSome such Spice-express and passSubject to Your PluckingAs the StarsYou knew last NightForeignersThis MorningMyselfwho bore itdoForgive ThemEven as MyselfOr elseSaviorbanish me539 The Province of the Saved ExclusivelyTo saveThrough Skill obtained in ThemselvesThe Science of the Grave No Man can understand But He that hath endured The Dissolutionin HimselfThat Manbe qualified To qualify Despair To Those who failing newMistake Defeat for DeathEach timeTill acclimatedto540 I took my Power in my HandAnd went against the World‘Twas not so much as DavidhadBut Iwas twice as boldI aimed my Pebblebut Myself Was all the one that fellWas it Goliahwas too largeOr just myselfOnly meI541 Some such Butterfly be seen On Brazilian PampasJust at noonno later thanSweet Thenthe VisionPageantclosesSome such Roseexpress and passPresent to Your PluckingAs the StarsYou knew last NightKnow not youThis Morning-

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51 LIST OF REFERENCES Bushell, Sally. “Meaning in Dickinson’s Manuscripts: Intending the Unintentional.” The Emily Dickinson Journal 14.1 (2005): 24-61. Cameron, Sharon. Choosing Not Choosing Chicago, IL: U of Chicago P, 1992. Debo, Annette. “Dickinson Manuscripts in the Undergraduate Classroom.” College Literature 27.3 (Fall 2000): 130-140. Dickie, Margaret. “Dickinson in Context.” American Literary History 7.2 (Summer 1995): 320-333. Domhnall, Mitchell. “The Grammar of Orna ment: Emily Dickinson’s Manuscripts and Their Meanings.” Nineteenth-Century Literature 55.4 (March 2001): 479-505. —. “‘A Foreign Country’: Emily Dickins on’s Manuscripts and Their Meanings.” Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers 17.2 (June 2000): 175-190. —. “Emily Dickinson, Ralph Franklin, and the Diplomacy of Translation.” The Emily Dickinson Journal 8.2 (1999): 39-54. Erkkila, Betsy. “The Emily Dickinson Wars.” In The Cambridge Companion to Emily Dickinson ed. Wendy Martin. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge UP, 2002. 11-30. Franklin, Ralph W. Manuscript Books of Emily Dickinson Cambridge, MA: The Belknap P of Harvard U, 1981. —. The Poems of Emily Dickinson Cambridge, MA: The Belknap P of Harvard U, 1998. Gailey, Amanda. “How Anthologists Made Di ckinson a Tolerable American Woman Writer.” The Emily Dickinson Journal 14.1 (2005): 62-83. Hubbard, Melanie. “‘Turn it, a little’: Th e Influence of the Daguerreotype and the Stereograph on Emily Dickinson’s Use of Manuscript Variants.” Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdiscip linary Study of Literature 38.1 (March 2005): 115-132. —. “As there are Apartments: Emily Dickinson’ s Manuscripts and Critical Desire at the Scene of Reading.” The Emily Dickinson Journal 12.1 (2003): 53-79. Ickstadt, Heinz. “Emily Dickinson’s Place in L iterary History; or, th e Public Function of A Private Poet.” The Emily Dickinson Journal 10.1 (2001): 55-69.

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52 Johnson, Thomas H. The Poems of Emily Dickinson Cambridge, MA: The Belknap P of Harvard U, 1955. —. Introduction. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson Boston, New York, London: Little, Brown and Company, 1961. v-xi. Loeffelholz, Mary. “Corollas of Autu mn: Reading Franklin’s Dickinson.” The Emily Dickinson Journal 8.2 (1999): 55-71. Miller, Ruth. The Poetry of Emily Dickinson Middletown, CT: Wesleyan UP, 1968. Oberhaus, Dorothy Huff. Emily Dickinson’s Fascicles: Method & Meaning University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State UP, 1995. Swyderski, Ann. “Dickinson’s Enchantmen t: the Barrett Browning Fascicles.” Symbiosis: A Journal of Anglo-American Literary Relations 7.1 (April 2003): 76-98.

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53 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Trisha M. Kannan graduated from the literature program in the College of Creative Studies at the University of California, Sant a Barbara in 2003. In Fall 2006, she will join the Ph.D. program in the Department of Englis h at the University of Florida, specializing in Emily Dickinson, gender studies, and contemporary feminist philosophy.


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"I TOOK MY POWER IN MY HAND": EMILY DICKINSON'S THIRTIETH
FASCICLE















By

TRISHA KANNAN


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF ARTS

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2006

































Copyright 2006

by

Trisha Kannan


































To Robyn and Mrs. C















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I forever thank Dr. Richard Brantley for his Dickinson knowledge, expertise, and

passion, and Dr. Judith Page for her exceptional feedback and, as always, her continuous

support and encouragement.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ................................................................................................. iv

ABSTRACT ............... ........................................ vi

CHAPTER

1 IN T R O D U C T IO N ............................................................................... .............. ..

2 PUBLICATION HISTORY OF THE FASCICLES .............................................5

The Fascicle Sequences: Barriers to a Printed Edition.................... .......... 7
D ickinson on Publication ............................................................................. 12

3 F A S C IC L E 30 ................................................................17

4 V A R IA N T S ................................................................32

5 C O N C L U S IO N ................................................................................................. 4 4

A SIDE-BY-SIDE REPRESENTATION OF VARIANTS .............. .............. 46

L IST O F R E F E R E N C E S .......................................................................... ....................5 1

B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E T C H ...................................................................... ..................53



















v















Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts

"I TOOK MY POWER IN MY HAND": EMILY DICKINSON'S THIRTIETH
FASCICLE

By

Trisha Kannan

May 2006

Chair: Richard Brantley
Major Department: English

The primary focus for this study is the poetry found in Emily Dickinson's thirtieth

fascicle. I argue for the significance of the sequence of poems as found in the fascicles

compared to the assumed chronological ordering of printed editions. The thematic

context of Fascicle 30 concentrates on the workings and power of language, as well as the

specific power of poetry. If read in a chronological order, thematic connections between

several of the poems would be hidden. Also addressed is the current debate among

scholars of how "best" to read Dickinson's poetry, either in manuscript or in printed

form, and as part of this discussion, I present a possible reading of the variants. These

variants have historically caused editors of Dickinson to assume that the manuscripts

were not intended for publication. Since Dickinson hardly published during her lifetime,

it is now widely accepted that she did not want to publish. However, I argue that

Dickinson did not publish because she realized that she would not be published

accurately. Currently, Dickinson's ordering of the fascicle poems is only available in









facsimile, and Dickinson's handwriting is notoriously hard to read, making the logical

next step in Dickinson scholarship a printed edition of the fascicle poems. Contemporary

fascicle criticism considers various interpretations regarding the presence of variant

words, possible relationships between individual booklets, and the function of the

fascicles in comparison to Dickinson's unbound poems. Any fascicle study involves the

reading of the manuscripts, but manuscript study need not be absolutely necessary either

in Dickinson's case or in the case of other authors, even when various versions exist in

manuscript form. For example, printed editions exist of Mary Shelley's 1818 and 1831

versions of Frankenstein, and James Rieger's edition incorporates the variant readings

into the 1818 text, allowing interested scholars and readers to study closely the two

versions side by side. If this is the case for Shelley's manuscripts, then it seems

imperative for Dickinson criticism to move in a similar direction for the poetry contained

within the forty fascicles.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

The mythic Emily Dickinson was a shy primitive, a recluse whose retirement from
the active world was due to an act of renunciation of an unattainable lover. The
poet Emily Dickinson does not fit the woman of this myth.

Ruth Miller, The Poetry ofEmily Dickinson


In 1968, Ruth Miller realized the incompatibility of facts and fictions regarding

Dickinson. In order to show how the mythic Emily Dickinson came into being, Amanda

Gailey traces "major editorial approaches in depicting Dickinson's life and poems by

examining representative anthologies from 1897 to 1955" (62). The myth stems

primarily from Dickinson's first editors, Mabel Loomis Todd and Thomas Wentworth

Higginson, who focused on Dickinson's reclusion in the introductions to the earliest

editions of Dickinson's poems. Biographical sketches presented by Dickinson's niece,

Martha Dickinson Bianchi, also added to the representation of Dickinson "as an icon of

passive femininity" (69). Gailey records several specific instances of later editorial

introductions that simply redraw the reclusive, love-spurned image of Dickinson that

began with Todd, Higginson and Bianchi. Gailey's answer as to why the mythic

Dickinson was born and consistently reproduced is that Dickinson had to be "naturalized

[into] the feminized private explorer" because of "the belief that she could not have

produced universally aesthetic poetry without a painfully feminized life" (65). According

to Bianchi, Dickinson's "painful" life is a result of falling "suddenly and completely in

love with a man already married" (73). This presentation of Dickinson allows for a









primary importance of editors, which is clearly revealed in the 1897 edition of The

Golden Treasury ofAmerican Songs and Lyrics, where Frederic Lawrence Knowles

writes of the "shy recluse whom Mr. Higginson so happily has introduced to the world"

(Gailey 63). Dickinson as "requiring assistance" continues to plague the general notion

of the poet even today.

The most fascinating aspect of Amanda Gailey's study is that as early as 1929

arguments such as Miller's were being made. According to Gailey, Anna Mary Wells

wrote in American Literature that editorial depictions of Dickinson lacked any factual

basis, revealing "that even as early twentieth-century editors of anthologies were

persisting in portraying Dickinson as a martyred recluse, there was scholarly awareness

that this picture was inaccurate" (68). While Gailey's study ends with Thomas H.

Johnson's 1955 edition, "scholarly awareness" regarding Dickinson's abilities was made

even more substantial in 1981 with R.W. Franklin's landmark reassembling of the

fascicles. Franklin's publication marked not only a new era of Dickinson scholarship but

a new era of the "Dickinson Wars" as well. As succinctly summed up by Betsy Erkkila,

the Dickinson Wars began with disputes regarding Dickinson's manuscripts between

Lavinia Dickinson, Susan Gilbert Dickinson, and Mabel Loomis Todd. According to

Erkkila, the wars continue mainly between Dickinson's male editors, such as Johnson and

Franklin, and feminist critics who contend that these editors have done Dickinson's

poetry a disservice by their editorial manipulation. Of primary importance within this

debate are the fascicles, booklets of poems arranged and bound with string by Dickinson

herself. The early manuscript wars left these fascicles in disarray, but the internal poetry

sequence of the forty individual fascicles was established when Franklin published the









Manuscript Books ofEmily Dickinson. Franklin reconstructed the individual fascicles

and ordered earliest to latest according to the date at which they were written. While the

progression of Dickinson's handwriting can give a quite reliable clue as to what date a

fascicle was written, the numbers 1-40 are otherwise arbitrary, meaning that there is no

definitive reason to designate Fascicle 11 as coming before Fascicle 12. Mabel Loomis

Todd, however, did keep track of the fascicles, and much of Franklin's reconstruction is

based on her system.

Numerous fascicle critics have recently argued that there is indeed a recognizable

internal poetry sequence to the fascicles. While claims as to Dickinson's intentions for

the forty fascicles as a whole are also a subject of scholarly debate, the focus of this paper

is a close reading of the thirtieth fascicle in order to reveal the importance of the internal

poetry sequence. The comments and actions of editors, including Franklin despite his

publication of the Manuscript Books, reveal that Dickinson's positioning of poems within

individual fascicles continues to be subsumed by printing the poems in chronological

order. Scholars, despite arguments regarding proper presentation and editing for print,

universally agree in the far-reaching importance of Franklin's Manuscript Books, since

"seeing" Dickinson's poems first-hand is vastly different from translations in print. All

recent fascicle scholars agree that reading poems within the fascicle context can elucidate

one's understanding of the poetry. In reading individual fascicles, connections can be

made between poems that are hidden when presented in a chronological order.

Surprisingly, not many of the fascicles have been individually examined, and only one

book-length study exists on a single fascicle.1 All of these fascicle studies agree that


1 This is Dorothy Huff Oberhaus's Emily Dickinson's Fascicles: Method & Meaning, which will be
discussed at length in specific relation to my analysis of Fascicle 30.









individual fascicles can be and need to be read as "artistic gatherings," to borrow Ruth

Miller's term, but this view appears not to be held by Dickinson's editors; hence, the

"new" Dickinson war between editors and feminist critics. Franklin's disregard of the

importance of the fascicles is evidenced in his 1998 variorum edition of Dickinson's

poetry, which again presents the poetry in an assumed chronological order. Much to

Franklin's credit, however, the 1998 edition includes extensive information for each

poem in the form of manuscript descriptions, such as the type of paper on which the

poem is written, as well as all variant forms of the poem that exist (see Appendix B for an

example).

In my view, a possible explanation for not following the 1981 Manuscript Books

with a printed edition of the fascicle sequence is that the mythic Dickinson still reins.

Since it is beyond the scope of this essay to formulate anything near a "solution" to the

Dickinson Wars and any investigation into Dickinson's position regarding the publication

of her fascicles must rely on authorial intentions that can never be known, I focus this

study on a single fascicle to show the importance of reading Dickinson's poems

according to the positioning of the author.














CHAPTER 2
PUBLICATION HISTORY OF THE FASCICLES

Emily Dickinson's sister, Lavinia, discovered Dickinson's nearly eighteen hundred

poems after her death. Lavinia turned to Susan Dickinson, their sister-in-law, to Mabel

Loomis Todd, mistress of Emily Dickinson's brother (who also happened to be Susan's

husband), and to T.W. Higginson, a long-time correspondent with Dickinson. Todd and

Higginson made legible copies of the fascicle poems as well as other poems and kept a

record of the fascicle poems. Todd and Higginson printed three volumes of the Poems of

EmilyDickinson: the first in 1890, second in 1891, and Todd alone edited the third in 1896.

The poems given to Susan Dickinson were never systematically organized. Thomas H.

Johnson became the first editor to prepare an edition of the whole, a three-volume

variorum in 1955, entitled The Poems of Emily Dickinson. His introduction notes that

"the purpose of this edition is to establish an accurate text of the poems and to give them

as far as possible a chronology." Previous editions had made extensive regularizations of

Dickinson's poems as well as included quite a bit of biographical information that was

often mistaken or without any factual basis. Johnson's edition sought to remain as close

as possible to the manuscript versions, including both manuscript and publication

information, and includes any existing variants. Johnson refers to the fascicles as

"packets," although he does make it clear that "the poems have been given a

chronological arrangement even though at best it is but an approximation. Since very few

poems can be given exact dates any chronology must be considered relative" (Johnson

xi). R. W. Franklin became the successor to Johnson, revising the variorum in 1998.









Franklin says of the fascicles in his introduction that "Dickinson's care in preparing the

earliest fascicles, which admitted only completed poems, all their alternative readings

resolved, show the goal to have been a finished product... As of Fascicle 9, in early

1861, they would have been unsuitable for circulation. The transcription, though in ink,

was less careful, and the texts, now with unresolved readings, were not intended for

others" (Franklin 20).

Johnson most likely did not attribute much importance to the poetry sequence of

the fascicles since he chose to print the poems in a chronological order. Franklin's

landmark contribution to Dickinson studies was reassembling the fascicles, and

publishing The Manuscript Books ofEmily Dickinson in 1981. However, as in Franklin's

comments quoted above, it seems Franklin believes the fascicles to be solely for

Dickinson's private use. While the sequence of the fascicles has been reestablished, the

edition contains only facsimile reproductions, meaning that reading the fascicle sequence

in this edition requires one to read Dickinson's handwriting, which is difficult and time

consuming to say the least. Even after producing this edition, however, Franklin's

statements on the importance of the fascicles, as discussed by Sharon Cameron in

Choosing Not Choosing, are quite confusing. According to Cameron:

To follow the fascicle order is, in Franklin's account of his task as described in the
introduction to the facsimile, to present the poems 'much as [Dickinson] left them
for Lavinia and the world' (I:ix). In an article in Studies in Bibliography, however,
published two years after the facsimile text, Franklin differently claims that the
fascicles were a form of "surrogate publication ... constructed for herself."
(Cameron 12)

Franklin's contention in the article, rather than his statement in the introduction of

the facsimile edition, is in sync with his later statements in the introduction of the 1998

printed edition that Dickinson's manuscripts were not intended for a wide audience. One









could argue, of course, quite persuasively that Dickinson did not intend her poems to

reach a wide audience. My concern, however, is the apparent assumption on the part of

both Franklin and Johnson that each fascicle did not contain an internal poetry sequence,

and that the fascicles as whole were nothing more than a means of ordering poems.

According to Cameron, later in the same Studies in Bibliography article, Franklin posits

that the fascicles were a means of keeping order, and he means that they literally helped

her to tidy up: "The disorder that the fascicle sheets forestalled may be seen in the

'scraps' of the later years. When she did not copy such sheets and destroy the previous

versions, her poems are on hundreds of odds and ends-brown paper bags, magazine

clippings, discarded envelopes and letters, and the backs of recipes" (11). The important

implication underlying the confusion of Franklin's various statements is that Dickinson's

sequence of poems in the fascicles has no artistic value.

The Fascicle Sequences: Barriers to a Printed Edition

While Franklin's manuscript edition is an unsurpassed contribution to Dickinson

scholars, it appears that Franklin's opinions regarding Dickinson's poetry has inhibited

the production of a printed version of the fascicle sequence. For both Johnson and

Franklin, the effort to "figure out" the best way to present Dickinson's poetry has

prevented a wider public readership from seeing the poetry in the true "best way:" the

author's original sequence. Interested scholars can of course reassemble for themselves

the fascicle sequence using printed versions of the poems.1 However, it seems that the



1 This is in fact how I was first introduced to the fascicles. Dr. Robyn Bell, in the College of Creative
Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, reassembled the fascicle sequence in such a fashion
for the course, Emily Dickinson's Book (Spring 2002). My interest in Dickinson's manuscripts and the
sequence of poems in the fascicles arose from my reading of the forty fascicles during this course, which
extended into a research project supervised by Dr. Bell. As a result, I presented Emily Dickinson's
Fascicles: Poetry versus Publishing at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research, University of









logical next step in fascicle criticism is the production of a printed version of Dickinson's

fascicle order. I realize that this is much easier said than done. The contemporary

Dickinson Wars present various opinions regarding the "proper" way to read Dickinson's

poetry. One side of the debate asserts that the only "true" way to read Dickinson is in

manuscript form. I have to agree that reading the facsimiles in Franklin's Manuscript

Books is a vastly different experience from reading individual poems in printed form.

Annette Debo utilizes the number of Dickinson scholars, such as Susan Howe, Martha

Nell Smith, Jerome McGann, Sharon Cameron, and Paul Crumbley, who focus their

studies on the facsimiles rather than printed editions to indicate that Dickinson "must be

studied by undergraduates through her manuscript facsimiles" (132). Debo is definitely a

member of what Domhnall Mitchell terms the "manuscript school" since she fiercely

defends the idea that only Dickinson's manuscripts can offer "an accurate text,"

indicating that even the most painstakingly detailed printed editions, such as Franklin's

1998 variorum, contain the mark of the editor and are thus "corrupted texts" (132).

However, Debo's article is mainly concerned with practical use of the manuscripts in the

classroom, which are made quite easily accessible thanks to advances in technology and

the computer.2 However, Dickinson's handwriting is notoriously difficult and sometimes

impossible to decipher with certainty, which is one of several reasons for the problems

inherent in "translating" the manuscripts into print. Debo consistently defends the

"superiority" of the manuscripts, yet her main purpose in the article is to offer

suggestions for and personal experiences for using the manuscripts to teach Dickinson.


Utah, March 2003. My interest in Fascicle 30 began during this time, and this paper extends the work I
began under the immensely supportive and knowledgeable guidance of Dr. Bell.
2 Dickinson Electronic Archives at www.emilydickinson.org









Dickinson's difficult handwriting obviously poses a problem, and Debo admits that "I do

offer a typescript version of each poem to help students overcome these complications

initially, but I try to wean them back to the manuscripts" (135). Debo's classroom focus

is not only on the analysis and close readings of poems, but on requiring students to

contemplate and even perform instances of editing.

Domhnall Mitchell has written extensively on the issue of manuscripts versus

printed editions, pointing out that "Relying on the autograph version alone is problematic,

for it assumes that the handwritten page is a form of publication-complete, finished, and

containing in script and in visual form all the information necessary to its further

transmission" (Diplomacy of Translation 45). One problematic aspect of the manuscript

school, as Mitchell repeatedly points out in his various articles on the topic, is the

assumption by scholars, such as Susan Howe, that "Dickinson's presentation is part of the

art form" (Debo 134). Scholars, and teachers, who subscribe to this belief can often only

offer, due to time constraints both in the classroom and in critical inquiry, a few select

examples of individual poems where, for example, the shape of an "s" or the crossing of a

"t" is seen as influencing the way the poem is read, and thus, intended by Dickinson in

the sense that the crossing of the t must be taken into account, and therefore, Dickinson

meant her poems only to be read in her own handwriting.3 However, Mitchell has

routinely pointed out the flaw in this logic through examples of his own that show these

"anomalies" to be much more consistent features than manuscript scholars suggest, not



3 Debo refers to Howe's "apt example" of how the letter "s" in "The Sea said / 'Come' to the Brook is
crafted to simulate the "shape and movement of waves" (Debo 133). In 'A Foreign Country, 'Mitchell
references Martha Nell Smith, who first describes the "stunning flourish that crosses both T's" in the word
"Tonight," and then argues that this passionate scrawl as intentional and integral to the poem "Wild
Nights!" (Mitchell 182).









only in Dickinson's poetry and letters, but in everyday letters from the 19th century as

well. The treatment of "the material appearance of [Dickinson's] manuscripts as if they

were not accidental or incidental to her practices" indicates a quite drastic assumption as

to authorial intention (Mitchell A Foreign Country 178). Mitchell concludes that while

"the claim that Dickinson's manuscripts have a design element cannot be dismissed, it

also cannot easily be sustained" (186). Reading the manuscripts and using them in the

classroom is a consequence of being allowed access, which has been brought about by

not only Franklin's Manuscript Books but by the computer. Therefore, at this specific

instance in time, it may appear that we can now be present at what Jerome McGann calls

"Dickinson's original scene of writing" (Debo 133). However, as Mitchell has brilliantly

pointed out, the current

drive to present Dickinson's manuscripts in apparently unmediated electronic forms
is as much a function of our historical moment as, say, Mabel Loomis Todd's
efforts at altering Dickinson's rhymes. In this case, the impulse exists because
there is an audience and because the software and technology are available. (186)


Contrary to the position that the manuscripts represent for modem readers

"Dickinson's original scene of writing," Mitchell articulates that reading the manuscripts

only provides one with this illusion, and what is easily forgotten is the "remoteness [of

the manuscripts] from our own time" (186). Nineteenth-century manuscript conventions

can be conveniently or unintentionally ignored, or not taken into account, allowing

"anomalies" in Dickinson's manuscripts to hold meaning for a twenty-first-century

reader. It is indecipherable, however, as to whether or not that meaning is or is not

intended.

Mitchell's position is that the focus on minute material details in Dickinson's

manuscripts is indeed a fascinating and necessary aspect to Dickinson criticism that









opens up an array of possibilities, but Mitchell also observes that we should keep "the

inaccessibility of the historical" in mind (186). Mitchell's intent is continually to show

that the drastic position of manuscripts-only is not only uncertain and often impractical

but may in fact be considered a "corruption": assuming that the material details are not

accidental is equal to the assumption made by editors that they are accidental, and these

editors are often derided as "corrupting" Dickinson's texts by scholars in the manuscript

school. On a more practical, pedagogical level, Mitchell reveals that "For those of us

who teach Dickinson, it remains necessary to cross-check the print edition of a given

poem with a facsimile of the manuscript whenever possible" (44). Since authorial

intention is always a murky precipice to stand on, I support Mitchell's position on the

value of being somewhere in the middle, where both manuscript and printed versions of

Dickinson's poems are necessary and valuable. I also wholeheartedly believe in the need

for a printed version of the fascicle sequence since this would allow for wider

accessibility to Dickinson's placement of the poems. I fear that the current focus on

manuscript-only readings will further inhibit this version from taking place, since

scholarship concerned with "figuring out" intentions regarding dashes, capitals, and line

breaks seems to have subsumed fascicle scholarship.

Dickinson left no explicit instructions for printed versions of her poems, and thus a

vast amount of criticism exists regarding how to read Dickinson. Sally Bushnell

contends that "recent critics who attempt to read across Dickinson's fascicles fall into

exactly the same trap of unverifiable intention" (58). However, this is in response to

critics, such as Dorothy Oberhaus, who argue for the forty fascicles to be read as a single

literary work. This critique does not apply to individual fascicles since the connections









established by close readings of poems within a single fascicle can be attributed to

Dickinson's positioning of the poems. While I do believe in the need for a printed

edition of the entire fascicle sequence, I fully understand the enormously complicated and

involved labor this edition would entail. For this study, I would like to follow in the

footsteps of Ann Swyderski's recent article, Dickinson's Enchantment: The Barrett

Browning Fascicles. Swyderski focuses on the importance of Dickinson's arrangement

of elegies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning in the context of Fascicles 26, 29, and 31. I

would like to add my analysis of Fascicle 30 into this context, utilizing as well

Oberhaus's remarkable work on the fortieth fascicle. Since this study cannot be as fully

detailed as Oberhaus's book, I am contending, as does Swyderski, that individual fascicle

analysis does not necessarily provide "blueprints" for other fascicles, and I am not

arguing, as does Oberhaus, that the forty fascicles can be read as a single work.

However, reading both Oberhaus's and Swyderski's studies have tremendously aided in

my understanding of Fascicle 30. It is my contention, then, that there is the need in

current Dickinson scholarship for all of the fascicles to be individually analyzed before

the assertions regarding the literary work as whole can be fully realized. Since my own

educational experience involved a reading of Johnson's printed transcriptions arranged

according to the fascicle sequence, I also contend that future Dickinson scholarship

should seriously consider a printed edition of the forty fascicles.

Dickinson on Publication

The assumption that Dickinson required Higginson's discovery is due to the fact

that only ten of the 1,789 poems were published during Dickinson's lifetime. Higginson,

and every editor since, determined that this lack of publication meant either (or both) a

lack of editing ability on Dickinson's part, or a lack of desire to publish. Both









assumptions allowed for a "free-rein" of editorial decisions. The presentation of the

poems in a chronological sequence confirms that neither Johnson nor Franklin saw

artistic merit in the case of the fascicles. Amanda Gailey's work has established that

there is a long history of discrepancy between Dickinson scholars and Dickinson's

editors. Most scholars now agree that there is a tremendous difference in not publishing

because Dickinson disapproved of the form and Dickinson disapproving of the form

because she could not be published accurately.4 All of the poems printed during

Dickinson's life were published anonymously with regularizations of capitals,

punctuation, and meter. The ten poems were published without Dickinson's consent.

There is only one "recorded complaint about the rendering of any of her poems in print,"

but this one instance is enough to indicate Dickinson's opinion regarding the violation of

editorial intrusion (Franklin 1). Dickinson's comment appears in a letter to Higginson

following the 1866 publication of "A Narrow Fellow in the Grass." The editor of the

Springfichl Daily Republican added a comma:

You may have met Him did you not [,]

His notice sudden is -


Dickinson writes to Higginson, "Lest you meet my Snake and suppose I deceive it

was robbed of me defeated too of the third line by the punctuation. The third and

fourth were one I had told you I did not print I feared you might think me ostensible"

(quoted in Johnson, 1955, 713-714). Dickinson's letter fully supports the idea that


4 Although, as has already been mentioned, many in the manuscript school contend that Dickinson's refusal
to print meant a denial of the print form, indicating that Dickinson wanted her poetry read in her own
handwriting. Interestingly, this argument also seems to allow for a "free reign" approach to Dickinson's
poetry, albeit now using electronic versions of it. This is precisely Mitchell's argument for pointing out the
problems in taking either approach in rigidly defining how Dickinson should or must be read.









Dickinson did not print because she could not be printed accurately, although this does

not solve the problem of how to represent Dickinson's poetry. We cannot assume that

because Dickinson could not be printed accurately at the time means that she never

wanted to have her work printed and circulated to an audience beyond her friends and

family (to whom she sent about 650 poems with her letters). What has been left out of

editorial assumptions is that Dickinson realized her ability and refused to be regulated by

standards of the time. Her outright refusal of regulation has been masked by the myth of

the recluse who hoarded her poetry and had to be offered to the world by Higginson's

discovery.

The realization by many contemporary scholars that Dickinson could not be printed

accurately, and for this reason did not pursue wide publication in her lifetime, still does

not offer a resolution to contemporary concerns of how to best read Dickinson's work.

My basis for this paper is Fascicle 30, the themes of poetry and language within this

fascicle, and the importance of the fascicle context in attempting to decipher poetic

content. I read Fascicle 30 to show the value of analyzing the poems as arranged in

individual fascicles in order to posit that within contemporary debates of how one is to

read Dickinson's work, the fascicle sequences are of great import. As the epigraph to this

study indicates, the myth of Dickinson can be dispelled by the poetry. Ruth Miller

admits that "Any final analysis of the poet's intention must always be made with

acknowledgement that accuracy is no longer absolutely attainable." Therefore, Miller is

not so much concerned with pinpointing Dickinson's intention with regards to printed

versions. However, even without the aid of Franklin's Manuscript Books, Miller can say

that "We may safely turn our attention to Emily Dickinson's purpose in binding her









poems as if she herself were editor, printer, and publisher" (248). Miller's opinion

regarding the fascicles is that they can indeed be read as evidence of not only Dickinson's

poetic ability but of her editing ability as well, a fact which has consistently been left out

in editions of Dickinson's work.5 Meta-poetical poems are not hard to find in Dickinson,

but the concentrated manner in which the power of language and poetry is presented in

Fascicle 30 is what interests me.

Before I focus on the poetry in Fascicle 30, I would like to end this section with a

poem that is often used to indicate Dickinson's stance against publication. The argument

has been made, and almost accepted as fact, that Dickinson viewed publication as "the

Auction / Of the Mind of Man," but this statement collapses the voice of a poem's

narrator with that of Dickinson herself.6 The poem begins "Publication is the Auction /

Of the Mind of Man ", and is found in Fascicle 37, numbered 570 according to Johnson

and 660 according to Franklin. The opening indicates a clear stance against publication.

However, the narrator's support for the opening lines is:

Thought belong to Him who gave it -

Then to Him who bear

Its Corporeal illustration Sell

The Royal Air -




5 While Johnson and Franklin's scholarly editions have painstakingly attempted to alter the long-held
mythic view of Dickinson and to present as accurately as possible the nuances of the manuscripts,
Johnson's 1955 hardback edition was introduced in paperback in 1961 as a reading edition. This remains
the version available in bookstores for general readers. It includes no variants, no manuscript information,
a single selected version of each poem; the introduction makes an utterly brief indication as to the presence
of "packets," but makes no mention of the fascicles or the amount of poems contained within them.

6 This rhetorical formulation is from the first page of Franklin's introduction to the 1998 variorum
("Dickinson, who once called publication "the Auction / Of the Mind of Man" ..)









In other words, man cannot sell creative work because the thoughts that enabled the

creation of the work were given by God. Since the thoughts which inspired a work were

given by God, the resultant work really belongs to God. Therefore, since the work does

not truly belong to man, man cannot sell it. However, if the thoughts behind a work are

given to a man by God, then what would be the point of writing down the thoughts? God

already knows them, and the author knows them, since they were given to him by God.

Writing of any kind is then pointless. And yet, Dickinson wrote nearly eighteen hundred

poems. Taken literally and independently, the statement made in the first two lines is

clearly against publication, but there is also the problematic opening word of the second

stanza: "Possibly ". Even before the reader completes the poem, this "possibly" casts a

shadow of doubt on the narrator's sincerity in declaring that "Publication is the Auction

of the Mind of Man." Clearly, since even the narrator's view of publication as auctioning

off one's mind is uncertain, this poem definitely does not offer sufficient evidence as to

Dickinson's opinion regarding publication.














CHAPTER 3
FASCICLE 30

In the most detailed study yet on a single fascicle, as well as the most detailed

argument for a possible reading of the forty fascicles as a whole, Dorothy Huff Oberhaus

scrutinizes all twenty-one poems of the fortieth fascicle. Oberhaus's careful analysis

allows for great illumination regarding themes and images that can be found in almost all

of the fascicles. Most convincing is how Oberhaus deftly applies the poetic content of

this final fascicle back to the first fascicle in order to support her main argument that the

fascicles track the protagonist's poetic and spiritual pilgrimage, culminating in the

conversion narrative of the final fascicle. Oberhaus's reading of Fascicle 40 is to show

the protagonist's attainment of true contentment in a spiritual as well as poetic union with

Jesus Christ. Oberhaus utilizes Biblical allusions throughout her investigation, fully

explaining how these allusions work in the fortieth fascicle, as well as showing that these

allusions are consistently present in all of the fascicles. One of Oberhaus's main points is

that the narrative of the fortieth fascicle shows that the protagonist, as the author of the

fascicles, views her poetry to be not only inspired by but written for Christ.

While Oberhaus identifies a three-part structure to the poetry of Fascicle 40 and

attributes this structure to a three-part conversion narrative, the same structure is not

always present in all fascicles. I could not find one in Fascicle 30,1 and Ann Swyderski's

work indicates that a three-part structure is also not apparent in the fascicles she analyzes


1 This does not mean that there is not an internal structure, but identifying and articulating it is beyond the
scope of this study.









(26, 29, and 31). Rather than focusing on the Bible as literary inspiration, Swyderski

identifies the overall theme to be Elizabeth Barrett Browning; hence, she terms them the

Barrett Browning Fascicles. Three well-known elegies to Barrett Browning are present

in the three fascicles Swyderski focuses on, and Swyderski discusses these elegies in their

fascicle context to reveal how they "record her evolving relationship with Barrett

Browning" (76). Swyderski discusses not only how the poems eulogize the death of an

established female poet, and what this may reveal about Dickinson's relationship with her

precursor, but also the textual influence of specific Barrett Browning poems, namely

Aurora Leigh. Swyderski's unifying thematic thread is that as Dickinson contemplates

the meaning of Barrett Browning's death, she simultaneously is herself evolving as a

poet, "becoming aware of her own power to assimilate and transform previous texts"

(89). This statement could also directly apply to Oberhaus's discussion, although the

previous text is the Bible and the relationship the protagonist contemplates is her union

with Christ. Oberhaus argues that by the fortieth fascicle the protagonist has made peace

with both her poetic and spiritual union with Christ, and Swyderski identifies as the

primary subject of Fascicle 31 "Dickinson's renewed faith in poetry and her poetic

ability" (89). Fascicle 30 fits in quite well, especially with Swyderski's discussion since

close readings of the thirtieth fascicle reveal a concentration on poetic and linguistic

power. These are not the only themes present, of course, and they are not exclusive only

to this fascicle. However, the fascicle context is vastly important for my own discussion,

as well as for the work of Oberhaus and Swyderski. All three studies, as I will discuss

after first focusing on the close readings of Fascicle 30, reveal a protagonist utilizing









outside texts to assist and inspire the contemplation of her relationship with not only

those texts, but also with the text she is in the midst of producing.

Close readings of Fascicle 30: To begin, the poem placed fifth in Fascicle 30 is a

stunning contemplation on language itself: how language works in everyday situations

according to the speaking subject and the intended audience, and how linguistic

investigations are necessary in writing as well as reading a work of art. The poem opens

"'Morning'-means 'Milking'-to the Farmer-". The poem, to paraphrase, is a discussion

of the word "morning," and how its definition changes according to who is defining it.

The poem continues, "Dawn--to the Teneriffe-/ Dice-to the Maid-". "Teneriffe" is one

of the Canary Islands where a certain type of wine comes from, making this line somewhat

confusing since teneriffe is a place rather than a person, as is the case for the first and third

lines. However, this second line indicates that morning means at dawn to the teneriffe,

implying that a day begins at dawn for those who pick the particular grapes on the island

of Teneriffe. The third line can be interpreted as the "morning" means "dicing," or the

chopping required in food preparation, to the maid.

The poem ends with "Faint going Lives- their Lapse from Sighing-/ Faith-

The Experiment of Our Lord-". These final lines are not read as easily as the first line

of the poem. In this second stanza, "morning" is referred to differently; it is no longer

that morning means something to someone, but rather that someone dates something by

morning. For example, the "Faint going Lives" date "Their Lapse from Sighing" with

morning. The night, then, is giving those with "Faint going Lives" a reprieve from

"sighing." In other words, the night is a reprieve from life. Therefore, morning becomes

a way to distinguish between days that all seem the same. The poem ends with "Faith-









The Experiment of Our Lord ". This can be rearranged to say that "faith" dates "The

Experiment of Our Lord" by morning. The poem does not define what that "experiment"

is, however. Humans, perhaps? The implication could then be that "faith" dates

"humans" by morning, which puts a strange twist on the more common idea that humans

keep track of faith by the morning, or that humans have complete faith in morning (i.e.

the sun will always rise tomorrow).

The simplicity and clarity found at the beginning of the poem is obviously now gone,

forcing the reader not only to define each word in the poem but also to take into account

all possible meanings for each word as well. The reader must then figure out how the

individual words work together in order to arrive at a meaning for the poem as a whole.

It is not only the definition of a word that is important, but the understanding of how that

definition changes depending on who or what is defining it. The poem can be read as

"about" the power of words, but the poem itself is actually much more than that. The act

of reading requires one not only to explore definitions but also to see how flexible those

definitions must be since the same word can have a different meaning depending on the

situation and the speaker. To elaborate slightly, the poem itself is really no more than a

collection of words, but the strategic placement of words allows a context to form

between and among the words in the mind of the reader. The poem becomes art through

the ability of the writer, yet the poem simultaneously requires the contextualization of the

reader. Therefore, the poem cannot succeed as a work without the "work" of both the

writer and the reader.

The same is true for the fascicles, and this poem serves in a way as a pattern for

how Dickinson's body of work functions when the fascicle sequence is studied:









individual poems make up individual fascicles, but individual meanings can change when

the fascicle context is considered, just as deciphering a singular meaning for a word often

depends on the context. One can then move outward to consider individual fascicles in

the context of all forty fascicles. The result is an array of possibilities initially provided

by the poet but contingent upon the presence of a reader.

The ninth poem in the Fascicle 30 opens with "I took my Power in my Hand /

And went against the World ". Since Dickinson placed a poem about the power of

words in close proximity to this poem, the "power" mentioned here could mean the

power of language and, more specifically, the power of poetry. According to the poem

the narrator loses. The final line is, "Was it Goliah was too large / Or was myself-

too small?" One reading is that the power of language (or poetry) was not enough to

defeat "Goliah," or "the World." Obviously, however, the narrator believes in this

power, since at the beginning of the poem, it is enough "to go against the world." The

closing lines of the poem present a question that is not answered, indicating that the

narrator has not necessarily given up on "the power." The narrator is defeated by Goliah,

and it seems reasonable to assume that Goliah and the World are synonymous, which

results in self-doubt and the possibility of being "too small." Yet the narrator holds off

answering either way, implying hope that the narrator is not in fact "too small." Since

the context of this poem indicates the power as being poetry, the "Goliah" could be

publication. The poem could be indicating that indeed the regularization is "too large" to

defeat, but the poem does not declare that this means an end to poetry.

The poem, "'Morning' means 'Milking' to the Farmer is poem 300

according to Johnson's numbering system. "I took my Power in my Hand is poem









540. These poems are separated by only three poems in Fascicle 30, allowing for a direct

connection to be drawn between them, and additionally offering a substantial hint as to

the meaning of "power" in poem 540. However, if there are 240 poems separating them,

this connection is hidden. Important as well with regards to "power" [of words] directly

implying poetry is the fact that the fascicle context was created by Dickinson. Even if

they were written at different dates, Dickinson chose to put them next to each other.

Without being able to know concretely Dickinson's intentions, it seems clear that at least

these poems were meant to be read together.

The poem positioned twelfth within the fascicle begins "I fear a Man of frugal

Speech / I fear a Silent Man and ends with the line, "I fear that He is Grand "

This poem is only eight lines long, and is professing a fear of those who do not often talk.

However, one can infer that the narrator does not actually mean "fear," as in terror, but

"fear" as in a wariness of. The narrator goes on to explain that a "Haranguer I can

overtake / Or Babbler entertain ". In this instance, "Babbler" may not be the most

eloquent description, but it is nevertheless extremely accurate since that is what most

people do: just babble. The narrator is not respectful of these babblers; they are easy to

entertain, and therefore, control. The narrator does not distinguish one babbler from

another babbler; they are all alike. However, the narrator notices and is wary of those

who keep to themselves. The narrator believes these silent figures have the potential to be

"grand," while the narrator knows that the babblers are not. This poem implies that

remaining secluded from others is a conscious choice, which feminist critics argued was

the case for Dickinson herself. Since biographical sketches of Dickinson have always

highlighted her reclusion and spinsterhood, this particular poem may be read as a










reasoning that contrasts with traditional versions of proper femininity; it was not that

Dickinson was "unwanted," or spurned by her one true love.2 Dickinson may have been

"quiet" as a proper woman should be, but not for the reasons society put forth; rather,

Dickinson realized that those who do not need to talk incessantly may be the most

"grand."

Keeping in mind the previous discussion of frugal speech, the poem most poignant

in its discussion of the power of poetry becomes even more so since it consists of a mere

eight lines, and closely follows "I fear a Man of frugal Speech ". The fourteenth poem

of Fascicle 30 is included here in its entirety:

The Martyr Poets did not tell -

But wrought their Pang in syllable -

That when their mortal name be numb -

Their mortal fate encourage some -



The Martyr Painters never spoke -

Bequeathing rather to their Work -

That when their conscious fingers cease -

2 Oberhaus's "discovery" that the fortieth fascicle is a three-part mediation causes one to return to previous
fascicles to read from "a newly enlightened perspective" (170). Oberhaus' analysis of the fortieth fascicle
seeks to reveal that the fascicle poems can be read as intertextual, and this is the case as well for the
relationship between individual fascicles. For example, Oberhaus concludes with a discussion showing the
first fascicle to be a three-part meditation, similar to the final fascicle. Additionally, Oberhaus attempts to
show that poems within Fascicle 40 discuss two specific "days,' and that what happened on these days can
be inferred by reading previous poems; one of these days, in Oberhaus's evaluation, is the day the
protagonist "died to the world" and began to write the forty fascicles. Interestingly, Franklin notes in his
1998 variorum introduction that "the sheets constituting Fascicle 1 were copied at different times during the
summer and were bound in a different order in which they were copied. On the final sheet, Dickinson
appears to have been cleaning up, taking in various pieces lying at hand." Both Johnson and Franklin have
seemed thrown off by the fact that Dickinson was not binding or copying fascicle poems in the order she
wrote them, which further supports the idea that Dickinson positioned certain poems for a reason.
Oberhaus's analysis of Fascicle 1, consequently, reveals a three-part meditation; quite different than the
indication of Dickinson needing to clean up.









Some seek in Art the Art of Peace -

The definition of the word "pang" is "a sharp attack of mental anguish; a piercing

spasm of pain." This is an amazingly accurate use of diction, and refers to mental rather

than physical pain. It can refer to both a life experience that a poet is writing about, and

to the act of writing itself. The pain of the poets is silent, as in the line "did not tell "

For a poet, poetry replaces traditional spoken discourse, with the poets in this particular

poem seeking solace in "syllable." However, the last lines of the first stanza seem to

indicate an additional motive for translating the "pang" into poetry: the pain may cease

when the poet becomes "numb" but the poetry will continue. The fate of the poet,

according to the poem, can and will encourage those in the future; all poets will die, but

poetry lives on. The poem is to encourage future poets, perhaps, to do the same as the

"Martyr Poets." Pain creates art that outlasts even death.

The second stanza discusses the art of painters, who are also silent and give "rather

- to their Work." Painting, then, is the only voice a painter needs. The final line,

however, seems to include not only artists, but those who "seek" out art: "Some seek in

Art the Art of Peace ". This beautiful finale refers to the power of art in general, and

to the peace that a listener, reader, or viewer finds as well as the peace the artist sought

in producing the work. Reading this poem in the context of Fascicle 30 leads to a

possible point regarding Dickinson's view of the power of art, and of poetry in particular.

It does not seem logical that any artist would produce art solely to keep it hidden away,

and this poem seems to confirm how Dickinson approached the idea of art, its benefit for

the artist and for the viewer. Dickinson wrote poetry seeking peace, and whether or not

she found it is not a question that can be answered. Dickinson does seem to have figured

out she would not gain fame in her lifetime since editors would not publish her poetry









exactly as she wrote it, but this did not prevent her from continuing to write. The poem

indicates that part of a poet's inspiration for writing without earthly fame is the

assumption that there would be a future audience, and the poems would someday

"encourage some." Luckily for us, Dickinson had faith in the future of her poetry.

The poem directly following "The Martyr Poets did not tell opens with the

lines, "I cross till I am weary / A Mountain in my mind ". This is a fairly long poem

(25 lines) and is usually read as a contemplation of what happens after death:

At last the Grace in sight -

I shout unto my feet -

I offer them the Whole of Heaven

The instant that we meet -

They strive and yet delay -

They perish Do we die -

Or is this Death's Experiment -

Reversed in Victory?


The opening lines refer to a physical weariness, which would come, obviously,

from crossing a mountain. However, the phrase "in my mind" makes the weariness come

from thinking. This could come from the thinking about the subject particular to the rest

of the poem (what happens after death), but also from thinking, in and of itself; in the

context of Fascicle 30, the thinking and writing of poetry. This connection to poetry, of

course, does not have to be a part of the interpretation of this particular poem, but if this

poem were read independently of the other fascicle poems, most likely a connection to

thinking or poetry would not even come about. This poem is an example of the









importance of reading the fascicle sequence because the context opens up possibilities

that would otherwise be hidden.

The seventeenth poem of Fascicle 30 begins "There is a Shame of Nobleness /

Confronting Sudden Pelf .3 I read these lines as indicating that a sense of guilt follows

when one suddenly acquires wealth. (The definition of "pelf" is wealth, often dishonestly

acquired.) The narrator goes on to explain that "A best Disgrace a Brave Man feels /

Acknowledged of the Brave ". The poem is addressing the fact that one may be

shameful or disgraced at having wealth and bravery. This is contrary to the idea of being

wealthy and brave as a goal that most people strive to achieve. According to the poem,

once material success is obtained, one may feel a need to hide one's wealth or

accomplishments due to a sense of guilt or shame. In the context of this fascicle, this

poem could also be addressing creative genius, perhaps including Dickinson's ability to

write poetry, which is also supported by Dickinson's concern to Higginson of not

wanting to be thought "ostensible." A risk of embarrassment goes along with being very

good at something since one may very likely be singled out and held apart (or above)

everyone else. If Dickinson believed in her ability, and was praised for it by those close

to her, yet still could not get her poetry published exactly as she wanted it, then a sense of

shame or disgrace could have easily arisen from time to time.

Poem nineteen begins "One Crucifixion is recorded only ", and the final two

poems clearly invoke marriage; the final poem ends "Dressed to meet You / See in

3 Only one poem separates "There is a Shame of Nobleness from "I cross till I am weary." It is an odd
poem since it is not in Dickinson's typical style. The first stanza reads, "Answer July / Where is the Bee -
/ Where is the Blush / Where is the Hay?" and the following three stanzas indicate as well the ubi sunt
form. This poem could be seen as Dickinson experimenting with a recognizable genre, but positioning it
within the fascicle context adds another layer of meaning. Since a main theme of the poetry in Fascicle 30,
as well as in near-by fascicles, is a poet finding her voice, the poem could be seen as a poet saying, "I could
write like this, ifI wanted to."









White!" The discussion of poetic and linguistic power seems to have disappeared, and

one finishes the fascicle with seemingly unrelated images of Christ's crucifixion and a

white wedding. Oberhaus's discussion, however, reveals that all three themes can in fact

be quite beautifully tied together. Oberhaus's discussion of fascicle forty focuses on both

a poetic as well as spiritual relationship with Christ, arguing that the two are so closely

intertwined that they are inseparable; hence, Dickinson does not separate them within a

single fascicle, which is the case in Fascicle 30. The fortieth fascicle may be the

culmination of the protagonist's spiritual and poetic journey, but the intertwining themes

of Fascicle 30 I read as the poet making her way. Similarly, Swyderski's reading of the

Barrett Browning Fascicles is centered on a poet making her way, although the discussion

is obviously focused more on just the poetic movement of Dickinson and her relationship

with Barrett Browning. Since it is easier to collapse a poem's narrator with the actual

author in elegies, Swyderski continually refers to Dickinson as the author/narrator in the

Barrett Browning elegies. However, Swyderski is also interested in the textual influence

of Aurora Leigh, and thus opens her discussion with Barrett Browning's description of

Aurora Leigh as "'An autobiography of a poetess (not me) ... On a separate occasion

[Barrett Browning] also claimed to have, 'put much of myself in it I mean to say, of my

soul, my thoughts, emotions, opinions'" (77). Swyderski believes these statements apply

to Dickinson's fascicles as well, yet Oberhaus continually refers to a protagonist, who is

shown by the poems to be the author of the fascicles, and Oberhaus always refers to this

protagonist as a "she".

Oberhaus summarizes Fascicle 40 as a private mediation that uses allusions to the

Bible and to earlier fascicle poems. Oberhaus refers to the final fascicle as an internal









mediation, but one that involves Jesus, who "the meditator refers to and addresses and

who himself speaks to her throughout F-40" (14). Oberhaus identifies the main narrative

structure of Fascicle 40 as a three-part conversion narrative, but the poetry within this

fascicle alludes back to two other occasions of conversion, which Oberhaus describes as

the day the protagonist "died to the world" and began writing the fascicles; the second

day of her conversion, the protagonist "in some way 'saw' Christ, and their union became

complete, a union she celebrates throughout F-40 as their betrothal" (20). By conversion,

Oberhaus means not only a full spiritual conversion but a poetic one, where the

protagonist becomes a fully realized Christian poet by Fascicle 40. The fascicles, then,

can read as this particular poet's spiritual and poetic journey, not without tumultuous and

painful moments of self-doubt as well as doubt in Christ, but "in the fascicle's present

time she has attained a plateau of joy and success" (20). A moment of great confidence

along this journey can be seen in F-30's "The Martyr Poets did not tell "

The discussion of poetic ability and power is highly concentrated in F-30, much

more so than in F-40 where the main focus is on Christ and the protagonist's relationship

with Him. However, the ending poems of the thirtieth fascicle tie in with Oberhaus's

discussion of the continual meshing of poetic voice/spiritual voice, often represented

through the image of marriage. By F-40, according to Oberhaus, the protagonist has

become a single-mindedly Christian poet, where her poems are both to Him, meaning

intended to praise Him, but are also from Him, meaning not only inspired by Him but

written with the purpose to inform others about Him. However, the protagonist's

confidence in Christ is not yet complete in Fascicle 30. The final marriage poems in









Fascicle 30 do not depict the union of the protagonist with Christ, but the penultimate

poem definitely and deftly intertwines Christian faith with love on earth:

The Sweetest Heresy received

That Man and Woman know -

Each Other's Convert -

Though the Faith accommodate but Two -



The Churches are so frequent -

The Ritual so small -

The Grace so unavoidable -

To fail is Infidel -


The narrator is quite distanced from marriage, indicating perhaps that the

protagonist's conversion to Christ and the subsequent "death to the world" discussed in

F-40 has indeed happened since the narrator is obviously looking at marriage between a

man and a woman from a distance. However, what has not yet occurred is the

protagonist's "joy and confidence" in being in union only with Christ. There is a deep

reverence and curiosity about this "Faith" of "Two"; despite being a "Heresy," it is the

"Sweetest" that humans know. And there is biting condemnation for those who "fail" at

this "ritual" where the "Grace" is given so freely as to be "unavoidable." Could there be

a double meaning as well to this notion of failure? Perhaps the protagonist is talking

about her own failure to be converted to this "Faith" of "Two"? In this sense, however,

the failure could not be about earthly marriage at all, but failure in regard to a spiritual

union with Christ. This brief discussion of the closing poetry to the thirtieth fascicle is

meant to reinforce Oberhaus's claim that reading the fortieth fascicle makes one return to









previous fascicles with new "enlightened perspective." This ability to enlighten a reader

could apply to all the fascicles, however (meaning enlightenment in general and not just

in reference to one's ability to read other Dickinson fascicles). One can easily claim that

reading Dickinson always results in enlightenment, and her poems rarely fail to provide a

(re)new(ed) and fascinating reading experience.

I would like to end this section on Fascicle 30 by addressing whether or not the

author of the fascicles as represented in the poetry is Dickinson herself. Interesting to

note is the influence of Aurora Leigh, as well as its author; Swyderski says that Barrett

Browning's poem and Dickinson's fascicles "are both texts which explore the

experiences and development of a 'woman and artist'" (77). Oberhaus also addresses this

issue, saying that while we must assume the speaker to be a "supposed person,"4 the

parallels between the fascicles' protagonist and her creator are striking:

The protagonist, like her creator, lives in Amherst; has a sister and a friend, Sue;
has red hair and hazel eyes; and has rejected the church of her contemporaries,
choosing instead to keep the Sabbath alone in her garden. More important, she is
represented as the forty fascicles' author. She, like Emily Dickinson, died to the
world. She, too, is an unpublished poet who has been freed from poetic "Laws."
Her business, too, is loving, singing, and "Circumference" (184).



It is not important, in the end, to decide whether or not the experience of the

protagonist is the experience of Emily Dickinson; it is not important to decide whether or

not Emily Dickinson "experienced a transcendent day in which she 'saw' and was

betrothed to Christ" (184). As Barrett Browning expressed regarding Aurora Leigh, it is

possible for a poet to create a character that is not the poet herself, yet it is necessary to



4 L268 to Higginson: "When I state myself, as the Representative of the Verse- it does not mean- me- but a
supposed person."






31


use all of one's soul, thoughts, emotions, and opinions in order to create that character.

What is important, then, is to preserve that character, to preserve the method of that

character's presentation. In Dickinson's case, this means preserving the fascicles, and

important as well for modem readers, is their dissemination.














CHAPTER 4
VARIANTS

Deciphering Dickinson's handwriting has alone proved to be a great hindrance to

what many scholars are now terming the "translation" of Dickinson's poems to print.

Practical considerations, such as whether or not a letter that looks to be capitalized is

meant to be capitalized and whether or not Dickinson intended a line break or was forced

to do so by the paper size, are among the slew of difficulties in formulating accurate

translations. One of the most problematic issues, however, is how one is to read the

variants.

Sharon Cameron succinctly sums up the physical presence of the variants in order

to study in detail what these variants mean for the identity of the poetry:

The earliest fascicles have no variants; the first occurrence of a variant is in
Fascicle 5, and there are only five other variants for poems through Fascicle 10.
These variants, often multiple, and not uniformly positioned at the end of the poem,
are sometimes signaled in the facsimile text by the little + signs that Dickinson
used near a word to indicate variants to that word. In the facsimile text the variants
appear in the following diverse positions: at the end of the poem, to the side of the
poem, and underneath or above a particular stanza, word or line... Only in the later
years of the copying are the variants positioned characteristically at the poem's end,
Dickinson having apparently standardized her placement of them. (8-11)



Johnson termed these words "variant readings," while Franklin referred to them as

"alternative" or "unresolved readings." The presence of the variants appear to be simply

problematic for Johnson and Franklin, rather than having any artistic meaning and

requiring additional attention. Both editors seem to view the variants as "unresolved" in

Franklin's terms, meaning that Dickinson could not make a final decision herself, thus









allowing one to be made for her. This again goes back to the underlying idea that

Dickinson did not recognize her own genius, could not edit her own work (despite the

fascicles), and therefore had to be "helped out." Johnson states in the introduction of the

1961 paperback edition of The Complete Poems ofEmily Dickinson that:

The text for this edition reproduces solely and completely that of the 1955 variorum
edition, but intended as a reading text, it selects but one form of each poem.
Inevitably therefore one is forced to make some editorial decisions about a text
which never was prepared by the author as copy for the printer. (x)

Both Johnson's and Franklin's variorum editions include the variant readings

placed at the bottom of the page. Obviously, Johnson did not consider the fascicles as

enough preparation by the author, and my question is why Dickinson does not have many

variants until around Fascicle 9? Considering the discussion regarding Dickinson's

Fascicle 30, perhaps the realization that she would not be published accurately is also

evidenced in the eventual presence of the variants, indicating a "giving up" of keeping

the fascicles perfect enough "as copy for the printer." Dickinson's intentions, again,

cannot be known, but for quite a long period of time, editors of her work have presented

and published the poetry in such a fashion that an "average" reader, as opposed to a

scholar of Dickinson with privilege to study the manuscripts or at least possess the

knowledge as to the existence of the fascicles and variants, would get the impression that

the editors did know Dickinson's intentions.12 My particular interest here is the

important distinction of recognizing Dickinson's editing ability versus the long-held

assumption that editing decisions had to be madefor her, and the importance in this





12 The most interesting aspect of Annette Debo's article is her relation of student responses to the discovery
of how drastically editing practices can alter an author's work.









seemingly minute distinction is quite strongly supported by Dickinson's reaction to the

addition of an unwanted comma in "A Narrow Fellow in the Grass."

Besides whether or not to attribute intention to the appearance of Dickinson's

handwriting, the effects of the variants are one issue at the heart of the Dickinson Wars.

The "manuscript only" camp argues that the visual effect of these words, including how

and where they are placed on the page, is integral to the meaning of the poem. Therefore,

since print cannot adequately reflect the visual qualities, any version besides the

manuscript original is corrupted. Especially in non-fascicle poems, a good case can often

be made for this point of view. Melanie Hubbard, for example, uses the case of a "poem

written on the back of a 'discarded kitchen memorandum' (as recorded by Johnson under

J1 147) [that] spells at the difference of a self from itself over time." The theme of the

poem, according to Hubbard, may have been inspired by the paper on which it was

written: an illegible shopping list written years earlier by Dickinson. Apparently,

Dickinson could not read her own handwriting and thus flipped the shopping list over to

write a poem about the inability of the present self to "recognize" a representation of an

older self. In this case, it is almost undeniable that the material artifact is integral to the

poetic content. However, as Mitchell has often argued, reading the manuscript of this

poem, or at the very least having the manuscript information regarding how and on what

this poem is composed, proves to be an extremely interesting reading experience that is

full of possibilities. It does not mean that Dickinson wanted her poems to be read only in

manuscript form.13



13 Hubbard does go on to offer more examples, centering her main argument on the fact that reading the
manuscript originals allows, above all else, for an experience as a reader that just cannot occur when
reading Dickinson in print form as well as digital or facsimile reproductions. Hubbard seems to align in
places with Mitchell's concern that current technology offers the illusion of being at Dickinson's scene of









Sharon Cameron's title, Choosing Not Choosing, represents her particular stance on

the possibilities for Dickinson's variants: that Dickinson chose not to publish since a print

form could not adequately portray her poetry, since the variants are not alternative

possibilities but integral to the poem; a representation of choosing not to choose one word

or phrase over another. Cameron attributes great importance to the fascicles, and directly

addresses the issue of authorial intention by concluding that "we do know Dickinson

intended something. After all, she copied the poems into fascicles" (Cameron 18).

Cameron's argument as to Dickinson's lack of choice regarding a "final version" of the

fascicle poems is based in considering the variants "as inclusive rather than substitutive"

(63). Cameron views Dickinson as offering the variants in order to extend the identity of

a poem, and of the possibilities of poetry. In Cameron's point of view, the variants as

well as their visual presence in the manuscripts are imperative in any speculation

regarding the identity of a Dickinson poem. While Cameron makes a convincing case for

this, I have noticed that the variant words are often less specific than the words in the

final poem. All manuscript scholars have read the variants as coming after Dickinson

completed the final poem. From an artistic point of view, though, it makes more sense

that the variant words came before the final version copied into the fascicle. Dickinson

burned her worksheets and the fascicle poems are copied in ink, so perhaps, for reasons

that must be left unknown, Dickinson still recorded previous versions of words or lines of

a final poem into the manuscripts, resulting in the variants. My proof of this is found

only in the comparison of final poems with variant poems, and quite often, enough at


writing, but Hubbard does clearly state that Dickinson's refusal to print allo\ cd her to explore the
materiality of representation, to undertake increasingly experimental forms of representation, and to deliver
creative power to the reader" (54). Hubbard's examples do indeed provide quite persuasive proof along
these lines; certain poems could very well be Dickinson's experimentation with materiality.









least to be a possibility, the variant poem is less specific and less artistically perfect than

the final poem. In a sense, my close readings of both the variant poem and the final poem

support Johnson's original editorial decision to print only the final poem. It could be

argued that Johnson was not making the choice for Dickinson, but that he was

representing what Dickinson finally decided regarding which words or lines made for the

best poem. However, the fact that Johnson undid the fascicle sequence indicates that he

saw himself as making the choice for her.14

Since recent fascicle critics have already convincingly portrayed the fascicle

sequence as tremendously important to the study of Dickinson, my discussion of the

variants is primarily meant to show the fascinating results of reading the "two" poems

side by side. Oberhaus as well often includes the variants to aid in a better understanding

of a poem, yet she does not make the claim that perhaps the variant words were from

earlier versions of the same poem. Practical editing considerations require editorial

decisions that are extremely difficult but necessary to make. For the general reader of

Dickinson, bringing the issue of the variant words to light can result in a deeper and

richer reading experience, but definitely not an easier one. However, the variants add a

fascinating layer for discussion in the ongoing debate of manuscript versus printed

readings of Dickinson's poems.





14 am aware of the fact that my discussion here of the variants as coming before the final poem does
assume the impossible: authorial intention. I mean my discussion to be interesting for inquiry, however,
and am open to other possibilities and readings. However, I do think that representing ED as a capable
editor is important, and my view of the variants may help suggest to a general audience Dickinson's
capabilities in this regard. Printed editions are a practical necessity, both in the classroom as well as for
general readership. Despite scholarly knowledge to the contrary, the myth of ED as a love-spurned, crazy
recluse is still a popular perception. This perception is problematic not only for Dickinson, but for
historical and contemporary portrayals and perceptions of femininity.









In my study of the Manuscript Books, I found that in several cases reading the

"variant" poem alongside the "final" poem allowed for a better, more complete

understanding of the poem overall. My list of examples provided here is utterly brief

considering the large number of poems contained within the fascicles. I will continue

adding to this list until I have compared all poems with variants in this side by side

manner (see Appendix A).15 Of course, I do not have time to do this here, but I do think

only a few explanatory examples are necessary for the reader to see my point.

Example 1:

Some such Butterfly be seen

On Brazilian Pampas -

Just at noon no later Sweet -

Then the License closes -



Some such Spice express and pass -

Subject to Your Plucking -

As the Stars You knew last Night -

Foreigners This Morning -



There are only a few variant words that Dickinson leaves behind, which are in

italics: In the third line, "Just at noon no later than -Sweet ". In the fourth line,

"Then the Vision Pageant -closes ". In the fifth line, "Some such Rose -express


15 1 only take three examples to describe in the text as to why the variants are important and what it means
to think about the variant poem as being an earlier draft. In Appendix A, poems 1-10 in Fascicle 30 are my
transcriptions presented in a side by side manner. This presentation makes direct comparisons between the
two full poems easier. Compare to Johnson's and Franklin's methods of showing the variants (see
Appendix B, C, and D).









and pass ". And in the sixth line, "Present to Your Plucking ". Reading the final

poem along with a version of the poem with the variants inserted, which in my opinion

came first, allows a better understanding regarding the overall poem. In the fifth line, a

"Rose" is much easier to pluck (as happens in the sixth line) than a "Spice." In fact, what

exactly the narrator means by "Spice" is not really clear. Knowing the variant word,

however, to be "Rose," one can infer that the final word choice "Spice" means the smell

of the rose. In line four, Dickinson uses the phrase, "the License closes," but first had

"the Vision Pageant." In fact, both of these lines are somewhat confusing. In the final

version (the one that would be found in printed versions) it is not really clear what

"License" closes. The original line is even more confusing: What "vision pageant" is

being referred to and what exactly is the significance of it? Knowing both versions,

however, clarifies a possible overall meaning: it is the "license" [to view] the "vision

pageant" of the butterfly that closes. Without the variant, however, this meaning could

not be easily attributed to the final line. Knowing the variant words also allows the

reader to see the ability of Dickinson to refine her idea and get rid of useless words. For

example, in the final version of the poem, Dickinson could have put in the entire phrase,

"the License [to view] closes." This, however, would interrupt the flow and eloquence of

the poem.

The variant for the final line of the poem offers the most interesting example.

Instead of "Foreigners," Dickinson first had "Know not you ". The entire line would

read "As the Stars You knew last Night / Know not you This morning." The word

choice of "foreigners" is much more specific, and if one only knew of the final version of

the poem, then the last line is somewhat confusing. We are not exactly sure why "the









stars you knew last night" would be "foreigners" in the morning. But the variant phrase

makes it clear: because the stars "know not you." It is also interesting to note that here

the definition of foreigners, when taking both versions into consideration, is "those whom

do not know you." People would more commonly imagine that foreigners are "those who

you do not know." This perhaps reveals a path, however slight, into Dickinson's mind,

and allows for a deeper, and clearer, meaning to the poem. "Foreigners" is more

poignant and powerful than the phrase "know not you." All of Dickinson's final word

choices here make for the better poem, but having the variants clarifies the meaning

behind the poem.

Example 2:

Another interesting instance where knowledge of the variants changes and adds to

the meaning of the poem is "I took my Power in my Hand ", which was discussed

previously in the context of Fascicle 30. I will again include the entire poem to make

visual sense a bit easier:

I took my Power in my Hand -

And went against the World -

'Twas not so much as David had -

But I was twice as bold -



I aimed my Pebble but Myself

Was all the one that fell -

Was it Goliah was too large -

Or was myself too small?









The only variant is in regards to the final line, but it is fascinating to contemplate

exactly what this change does to the poem:



Was it Goliah was too large -

Or just myself Only Me I -



Artistically, the eventual ending to the poem is tremendously better. In fact, the

variant line does not really make sense. What is striking about the variant line, though, is

the sense of isolation. The line reads almost as though it were at one time an accident,

the words just pouring out onto the page, not fitting with the above line at all or making

much sense, but starkly indicating what the rest of the poem implies: aloneness, one

person against the world. Taking the two different final lines into consideration,

Dickinson obviously had to make a change in order to make the final line choice fit with

the line above. This could indicate that initially Dickinson did not see "herself' (or any

poet for that matter) as small, but rather in isolation: just myself against the world. The

line, "Or was myself too small?" does not carry the same sense of isolation, at least not

as explicitly and as powerfully as "Or just myself Only Me I ". However, this line

is not posed as a question, indicating that the narrator is stating isolation rather than

running away from it (or the world). When considering these two endings, a reader gets a

better sense of feelings behind the actual words, and also sees the narrator in various

lighting: "small" yet going against the world, and alone, isolated, yet firm and in

possession of a "Power." Again, as the fascicle context of the poems opens up other

possibilities, so too do the variants; a reader may better understand a poem, the










underlying message or feeling of the poem, and perhaps, if I may be so bold, Dickinson's

creative process.16

Example 3:

One final example of the variant words may also shed light on the previous

discussion of Dickinson's opinions on the relationship between poetry, art, and

publication:

The Martyr Poets did not tell -

But wrought their Pang in syllable -

That when their mortal name be numb -

Their mortal fate encourage Some -


Dickinson's variant to "name" is "fame," and while only one letter is changed, the

difference in meaning, especially in consideration of the discussions regarding

publication, is enormous. In the above version, the indication is that the Martyr Poets

were aware that at some point their mortal name becomes numb, most likely meaning the

16 Johnson writes in the introduction to the 1955 variorum that "The largest part of the poetry exists but in a
single draft, whatever the state of composition might be, and for that reason relatively few poems show her
creative method" (xxxiv). However, as Johnson continues to explain, "these relatively few add up to a
considerable total," meaning that a sizeable number of poems do exist in multiple versions, such as a poem
contained in a fascicle that was also sent out in a letter, or the same poem altered for being sent to different
people. Johnson refers to the fascicles here as packets, and offers a few examples of fascicle poems that
were sent as "final copies," meaning without any variants, to friends. Johnson refers to the fascicle poems
that have variants as "a fair copy [turned into] a worksheet draft...leaving the poems in a particularly
chaotic state," although Johnson indicates that these variants are possibilities if Dickinson were ever to take
up a final draft. He gives an example of a fascicle poem that had six possibilities, but in the poem included
with a letter to Sue, there is only one of those possibilities selected with four other changes not even
mentioned in the "semifinal draft" contained in the fascicle (xxxiv). If the variants are read as remainders
from rough drafts, many poems can be seen as showing Dickinson's creative process is shown. It also
seems that Dickinson only intended a single word for the poem, or else she could have sent poems to
friends that included the variants, allowing the reader to choose. It could even be possible that Dickinson
kept a record of her creative process for herself; the manuscripts can be read, then, as semi-final drafts still
in a workshop phase, as Johnson has suggested. However, it can no longer be denied that Dickinson
positioned the poems within individual fascicles for a reason, meaning that most likely, the entire body of
fascicle poems was put together with eventual publication in mind, and perhaps this would have taken place
if Dickinson believed that the publishers of her time would print her poems as she wanted them to be
printed. Franklin's variorum offers all necessary information regarding multiple versions for each poem.









physical death of the poet(s), but that their mortal fate will still encourage some. To

paraphrase, the poetry, and likewise the poet since the "pang" was necessary to produce

the "syllable," will live on after the person of the poet is dead. The name will too live on

since it will be attached to the poetry, but the focus and the importance is the poetry, not

the name. If fame is interchanged, the meaning is now that the fame of the poet is

unimportant since it too will "be numb" when the person of the poet succumbs to

inevitable death. Consequently, the word "mortal" becomes more important in this

version of the poem: the poet's "earthly" fame will dissipate, but the "earthly" fate can

still encourage some as the poetry lives on after death, and perhaps continues the poet's

earthly fame. Taking into account that this poem may have been inspired by, or at least

written soon after, Elizabeth Barrett Browning's death, the minute change becomes all

the more important. Since Barrett Browning had earthly fame but was now dead, the

variant version seems to specifically speak to and about Barrett Browning, while the

change to "name" can be read as applying more directly to Dickinson. Dickinson had

realized by now that her poetry would never be printed in her lifetime, but Dickinson

continues not only writing poetry but binding the fascicles. Another possible reason for

Dickinson not publishing in her lifetime could be due to her reservations about becoming

famous. Dickinson wrote in a letter to Higginson that "if fame belonged to me, I could

not escape her.""17 It is quite possible, then, that Dickinson denied the print form not only

because she could not be printed exactly as she wished but because she also did not want

to become famous. All Dickinson's published poems were anonymous, which may

indicate not only Dickinson's reservations of becoming famous but the knowledge that if


1 This sentence is the epigraph to Johnson's 1955 edition.






43


she allowed the publication of her poetry, she would become famous. Such confidence

can also be found in the poetry itself, furthering the idea that it was not the form that

Dickinson denied but the fame that would undoubtedly go along with publication in print.














CHAPTER 5
CONCLUSION

Dickinson's poetry has withstood the tumultuous publication history of the

manuscripts, and despite heated debates with no "real" solutions, the "Dickinson Wars"

will ensure a continual and intense focus on Dickinson's poetry, no matter what "proper"

form one believes the poems should take. While the myth of Dickinson still remains, it

appears to be fading. Amanda Gailey mentions that the 2002 Norton Anthology of

American Literature, edited by a panel of professors under the direction of Nina Baym,

does contain a four-page biography of Dickinson, but it "is detailed and careful, and

resists traditional caricature and trendy sensationalism" (Gailey 80). More importantly,

however, is that this Norton Anthology contains eighty-one poems and six letters,

indicating that anthologists have come to a realization that Emily Dickinson cannot be

"summed up" too easily. Despite scholarly attention to the material details of

Dickinson's manuscripts, including the fascicles, it will nevertheless always remain

necessary to present Dickinson in print form. For this, Franklin has proved to be an

astoundingly brilliant contributor to Dickinson studies. Though no editor can be without

flaws, any project of putting Dickinson into print must seem endless and, in fact, this

seems to be exactly the case with Dickinson. The intent of this study was not meant to be

against Dickinson's editors, although I fully realize it often reads as denying the

importance of Johnson's and Franklin's work. My opinion regarding the utter

importance of the fascicles stems from not only scholarly inquiry, but from a personal

reading relationship with the fascicles that began my interest in Dickinson in the first









place. Thus, at the heart of this study is a deep reverence for the astounding poetic ability

of an author many say is shrouded in mystery, but my first reading of the fascicles

revealed quite clearly a fascinating person. I know this person is not the Emily

Dickinson, and hence this study is attempting to articulate a personal relationship with an

imaginary friend; something not quite easily performed to say the least. And this is of

course the plight of all "translations" of poetry and poets, whether from manuscript form

to printed form, or personal reading experiences into scholarly criticism. The poet we

know as Emily Dickinson realized this dilemma long before any of us currently searching

for answers within her poems, and Dickinson's poetry has undeniably fulfilled the

aspirations of "The Martyr Poets": her name now, Dickinson and not Emily, is a powerful

force that extends far beyond a hope to merely "encourage some."















APPENDIX A
SIDE-BY-SIDE REPRESENTATION OF VARIANTS

My transcriptions from Franklin's The Manuscript Books ofEmily Dickinson,

Volume II, Fascicle 30, poems 1-10. The numbers are according to Johnson's 1961

paperback edition. The left column is what I call the final version of the poem, and the

right column is what I call the variant version. The variant version is a full poem with all

variant substitutions made, and is what I think came before the final version. I attempted

to as closely as possible transcribe directly from the facsimile copy, but I did double

check with both Johnson's and Franklin's printed editions in order to have another

opinion regarding Dickinson's handwriting. There may also be some discrepancy

between my printed version in line breaks due to the constraints of the column size.

There may also be some alterations in my printed versions from Johnson's and Franklin's

since Dickinson's method of indicating where a variant should go is often confusing; in a

few cases, there is a variant at the bottom with no clear indication as to its place in the

poem.









515
No Crowd that has occurred
Exhibit- I suppose
That General Attendance
That Resurrection- does-

Circumference be full-
The long restricted Grave
Assert her Vital Privilege-
The Dust- connect- and live-

On Atoms- features place-
All Multitudes that were
Efface in the Comparison-
As Suns- dissolve a star-

Solemnity- prevail-
Its Individual Doom
Possess each separate Consciousness-
August- Absorbed- Numb

What Duplicate- exist-
What Parallel can be-
Of the Significance of This-
To Universe- and Me?


516
Beauty- be not caused- It Is-
Chase it, and it ceases-
Chase it not, and it abides-

Overtake the Creases

In the Meadow- when the Wind
Runs his fingers thro' it-
Deity will see to it
That You never do it-



517
He parts Himself- like Leaves-
And then- He closes up-
Then stands upon the Bonnet
Of Any Buttercup-


515
No Crowd that has occurred
Exhibit- I suppose
That General Attendance
That Resurrection- does-

Circumference be full-
The long subjected Grave
Assert Hid Primogeniture-
The Dust- adjust- and live-

On Atoms- features place-
All Multitudes that were
Efface in the Comparison-
As Suns- annul a star-

Solemnity- prevail-
Its Individual Doom
Possess each separate Consciousness-
August- Resistless- Dumb

What Duplicate- exist-
What Scenery can be-
Of the Stupendousness of This-
To Universe- and Me?


516
Beauty- is not caused- It Is-
Chase it, and it ceases-
Chase it not, and it abides-

Overtake the Creases

In the Meadow- when the Wind
Runs his fingers thro' it-
Deity will see to it
That You never do it-



517
He parts Himself- like Leaves-
And then- He closes up-
And then He leans with all His might
Upon a Buttercup-










And then He runs against
And oversets a Rose-
And then does Nothing-
Then away upon a Jib- He goes-

And dangles like a Mote
Suspended in the Noon-
Uncertain- to return Below-
Or settle in the Moon-

What come of Him- at Night-
The privilege to say
Be limited by Ignorance-
What come of Him- That Day-

The Frost- possess the World-
In Cabinets- be shown-
A Sepulchre of quaintest Floss-
An Abbey- a Cocoon-


520
I started Early- Took my Dog-
And visited the Sea-
The Mermaids in the Basement
Came out to look at me-

And the Frigates- in the Upper Floor
Extended Hempen Hands-
Presuming Me to be a Mouse-
Aground- upon the Sands-

But no Man moved Me- till the Tide
Went past my simple Shoe-
And past my Apron- and my Belt
And past my Bodice- too-

And made as He would eat me up-
As wholly as a Dew
Upon a Dandelion's Sleeve-
And then- I started- too
And He- He followed- close behind-
I felt His Silver Heel
Upon my Ankle- Then my Shoes
Would overflow with Pearl-


And then He runs against
And overturns a Rose-
And then does Nothing-
Then away upon a Jib- He goes-

And dangles like a Mote
Suspended in the Noon-
Indifferent- to return Below-
Or settle in the Moon-

What come of Him- at Night-
The liberty to say- Authority-
Be limited by Ignorance-
What come of Him- That Day-

The Frost- obtain the World-
In Cabinets- be shown-
A Sepulchre of quaintest Floss-
An Abbey- a Cocoon-


520
I started Early- Took my Dog-
And visited the Sea-
The Mermaids in the Basement
Came out to look at me-

And the Frigates- in the Upper Floor
Extended Hempen Hands-
Presuming Me to be a Mouse-
Aground- upon the Sands-

But no Man moved Me- till the Tide
Went past my simple Shoe-
And past my Apron- and my Belt
And past my Bosom- too-

And made as He would eat me up-
As wholly as a Dew
Upon a Dandelion's Sleeve-
And then- I started- too
And He- He followed- close behind-
I felt His Silver Heel
Upon my Ankle- Then my Shoes
Would overflow with Pearl-










Until We met the Solid Town-
No One He seemed to know-
And bowing- with a mighty look-
At me- The Sea withdrew-


300
"Moring"-means "Milking"- to the
Farmer-
Dawn- to the Teneriffe-
Dice- to the Maid-
Morning means just Risk-to the Lover-
Just revelation- to the Beloved-

Epicures- date a Breakfast- by it-
Brides- an Apocalypse-
Worlds- a Flood-
Faint going Live- Their Lapse from
Sighing-
Faith- The Experiment of Our Lord-


521
Endow the Living- with the Tears-
You squander on the Dead,
And They were Men and Women- now,
Around Your Fireside-

Instead of Passive Creatures,
Denied the Cherishing
Till They- the Cherishing deny-
With Death's Ethereal Scorn-


538
'Tis true- They shut me in the Cold-
But then- Themselves were warm
And could not know the feeling 'twas-
Forget it- Lord- of Them-

Let not my Witness hinder Them
In Heavenly esteem-
No Paradise could be- Conferred-
Through Their beloved Blame
The Harm They did- was short- And since


Until We met the Solid Town-
No Man He seemed to know-
And bowing- with a mighty look-
At me- The Sea withdrew-


300
No variants


521
Endow the Living- with the Tears-
You spend upon the Dead,
And They were Men and Women- now,
Around Your Fireside-

Instead of Passive Creatures,
Denied the Cherishing
Till They- the Cherishing deny-
With Death's Ethereal Scorn-


538
'Tis true- They shut me in the Cold-
But then- Themselves were warm
And did not know the feeling 'twas-
Forget it- Christ- of Them-

Let not my Witness Them impair
In Heavenly esteem-
No Paradise could be- Conferred-
Through Their beloved Blame
The Harm They did- was brief- And since









Myself- who bore it- do-
Forgive Them- Even as Myself-
Or else- forgive not me-


539
The Province of the Saved
Should be the Art- To save-
Through Skill obtained in Themselves-
The Science of the Grave

No Man can understand
But He that hath endured
The Dissolution- in Himself-
That Man- be qualified

To qualify Despair
To Those who failing new-
Mistake Defeat for Death- Each time-
Till acclimated- to-


540
I took my Power in my Hand-
And went against the World-
'Twas not so much as David- had-
But I- was twice as bold-

I aimed my Pebble- but Myself
Was all the one that fell-
Was it Goliah- was too large-
Or was myself- too small?


541
Some such Butterfly be seen
On Brazilian Pampas-
Just at noon-no later- Sweet-
Then- the License closes-

Some such Spice-express and pass-
Subject to Your Plucking-
As the Stars- You knew last Night-
Foreigners- This Morning-


Myself- who bore it- do-
Forgive Them- Even as Myself-
Or else- Savior- banish me-


539
The Province of the Saved
Exclusively- To save-
Through Skill obtained in Themselves-
The Science of the Grave

No Man can understand
But He that hath endured
The Dissolution- in Himself-
That Man- be qualified

To qualify Despair
To Those who failing new-
Mistake Defeat for Death- Each time-
Till acclimated- to-


540
I took my Power in my Hand-
And went against the World-
'Twas not so much as David- had-
But I- was twice as bold-

I aimed my Pebble- but Myself
Was all the one that fell-
Was it Goliah- was too large-
Orjust myself- Only me- I-


541
Some such Butterfly be seen
On Brazilian Pampas-
Just at noon- no later than- Sweet
Then- the Vision- Pageant- closes-

Some such Rose- express and pass-
Present to Your Plucking-
As the Stars- You knew last Night-
Know not you- This Morning-















LIST OF REFERENCES

Bushell, Sally. "Meaning in Dickinson's Manuscripts: Intending the Unintentional." The
Emily Dickinson Journal 14.1 (2005): 24-61.

Cameron, Sharon. Choosing Not Choosing. Chicago, IL: U of Chicago P, 1992.

Debo, Annette. "Dickinson Manuscripts in the Undergraduate Classroom." College
Literature 27.3 (Fall 2000): 130-140.

Dickie, Margaret. "Dickinson in Context." American Literary History 7.2 (Summer
1995): 320-333.

Domhnall, Mitchell. "The Grammar of Ornament: Emily Dickinson's Manuscripts and
Their Meanings." Nineteenth-Century Literature 55.4 (March 2001): 479-505.

-. "'A Foreign Country': Emily Dickinson's Manuscripts and Their Meanings." Legacy:
A Journal ofAmerican Women Writers 17.2 (June 2000): 175-190.

-. "Emily Dickinson, Ralph Franklin, and the Diplomacy of Translation." The Emily
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Erkkila, Betsy. "The Emily Dickinson Wars." In The Cambridge Companion to Emily
Dickinson, ed. Wendy Martin. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge UP, 2002. 11-30.

Franklin, Ralph W. Manuscript Books ofEmily Dickinson. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap
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-The Poems ofEmily Dickinson. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap P of Harvard U, 1998.

Gailey, Amanda. "How Anthologists Made Dickinson a Tolerable American Woman
Writer." The Emily Dickinson Journal 14.1 (2005): 62-83.

Hubbard, Melanie. "'Turn it, a little': The Influence of the Daguerreotype and the
Stereograph on Emily Dickinson's Use of Manuscript Variants." Mosaic: A
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-"As there are Apartments: Emily Dickinson's Manuscripts and Critical Desire at the
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Ickstadt, Heinz. "Emily Dickinson's Place in Literary History; or, the Public Function of
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52


Johnson, Thomas H. The Poems ofEmily Dickinson. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap P of
Harvard U, 1955.

Introduction. The Complete Poems ofEmily Dickinson. Boston, New York, London:
Little, Brown and Company, 1961. v-xi.

Loeffelholz, Mary. "Corollas of Autumn: Reading Franklin's Dickinson." The Emily
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Miller, Ruth. The Poetry ofEmily Dickinson. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan UP, 1968.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Trisha M. Kannan graduated from the literature program in the College of Creative

Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2003. In Fall 2006, she will join

the Ph.D. program in the Department of English at the University of Florida, specializing

in Emily Dickinson, gender studies, and contemporary feminist philosophy.