"He buys me books,
but begs me not to read them, because he fears they joggle the
I would like to learn. Could you tell me how to grow, or is it
unconveyed, like melody or witchcraft?"
Quotation to the left is from Selected
Poems and Letters of Emily Dickinson, Robert N. Linscott,
Editor. New York: Anchor Doubleday, 1959. p. 7.
The text is a modern reprint of the 1959 book, and
pretty easily available. The quotation is from a letter to Thomas
Wentworth Higginson, who was a Unitarian clergyman who wrote
a letter to Atlantic Monthly, encouraging young American
writers; apparently, he encouraged one particular writer. Shortly
after he wrote his letter to the magazine, he began corresponding
(at her initiation) with Dickinson,
who asked him to "say if my verse is alive."
The book is quite a treasure, and no one who seriously
admires Dickinson should skip it.