“The Nearest Dream…”

In 1862, poem #319 was one of the 4 poems Emily sent along with a letter to the famed Unitarian minister, abolitionist, and well-known literary critic, Thomas Higginson, in response to his article in the Atlantic Monthly, “Letter To A Young Contributor. ” The article gave advice to young writers and Emily responded with a question for Higginson, wanting to know if he “thought her verse was alive”. That letter was the first exchange in a correspondence that would go on for 23 years.

Everyone needs someone to believe in them. But having that doesn’t always spell success. That recipe is much more complicated, of course. For some, it’s hard to believe in themselves, because of the way they’ve been raised, or just because they’ve never seen or experienced success actually being realized in their corner of the world. They often just need a taste. A taste that tells them it’s real, and that they can have more if they keep working at it. I was reminded of some of my students who struggled in much the same way. So I wrote this Carol and Emily poem…

References:

Dickinson Electronic Archive

Dickinson and Higginson (classroomelectric.org)

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