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Fragments of Emily Dickinson’s Poems on Fragments of Paper
Slate’s blog The Vault alerts us to more Emily Dickinson news, having accessed her letters and manuscripts at Amherst College Digital Collections–as can we all, now that they’ve been recently digitized! Turns out that “fragments” (so called by Dickinson scholars) of her poems were written on scraps of paper, backs of envelopes, and “sheets that seem to have been crumpled and then smoothed out.” More:
Some of these bits of manuscript, like the piece of envelope holding a fragment that reads “was never/Frigate a/like,” are recognizable parts of familiar Dickinson poems (“There is no Frigate like a Book/To take us Lands away”).
Others were never published. Seeing them in their fragmentary form seems to elevate their poignancy, as with the long, skinny fragment of paper that reads:Pompeii All it’s (the occupations crystallized – Everybody gone away
Or the partial envelope flap on which Dickinson wrote, then crossed out in an emphatic hand:Which – has the wisest men undone – Doubt has the wisest
Read the full post here.