Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Will you tell me my fault, frankly as to yourself, for I had rather wince, than die. Men do not call the surgeon to commend the bone, but to set it, Sir.
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), U.S. poet. Letter, July 1862, to Thomas Wentworth Higginson. The Letters of Emily Dickinson, vol. 2 (1958).
Higginson, an author, critic, and retired Unitarian minister, had received his first letter from Dickinson April 15, 1862, with four poems enclosed; the correspondence continued throughout her life. Higginson, in the role of literary mentor, eventually cooperated in producing a volume of her poems in 1890, though only after making significant textual changes.