“The way hope builds his house” — Emily Dickinson (Manuscript)

Poet Emily Dickinson

E.D. had difficult handwriting and wrote on anything handy. She did not leave polished manuscripts of her poems for publication in most cases.  This was eventually published as poem #1481 and dated c. 1879   “The way Hope builds his House/It is not a sill–/Nor Rafter has that Edifice/But only Pinnacle–/Abode in  as supreme/This superfices/As if it were Ledges smit/Or mortised with the Laws–” It also should be noted her verse became more cryptic and elliptical in her later years–almost as if the poems were notes to herself.



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About Margaret Jean Langstaff

A lifelong critical reader with literary tastes, a novelist, short story writer, essayist, book critic, and professional book editor for many years. A consultant to publishers and authors, providing manuscript critiques and a full range of editorial services. A friend and supporter of all other readers and writers. A collector of signed modern first editions. Animal lover and tree hugger. Follow me on Twitter @LangstaffEditor
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2 Responses to “The way hope builds his house” — Emily Dickinson (Manuscript)

  1. Lonie Fulgham says:

    Great poem, thank you for sharing! It sounds to me like you’re suggesting the envelope was a deliberate choice… That’s an interesting thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe maybe not. She wrote on the back of a store receipts,old letters, advertisements. The bottom drawer of her cherry bureau was stuffed full with these unsorted unrevised poems dashed off “on the fly.” Her sister and brother were shocked, had no idea, did not know what to make of them. Then Mabel Todd slithered in and took over. Her brother’s sly bawdy mistress. A sordid aftermath and crooked route to publication

      Liked by 1 person

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