Special Collections & Archives Highlights: Emily Dickinson Letter

On this date 128 years ago, May 15, 1886, poet Emily Dickinson passed away in Amherst, MA. Special Collections is the repository for a letter that Dickinson wrote to a friend towards the end of her life.

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The notably reclusive poet was an active correspondent,  and one of her particular friends during her later years was Eugenia Hall, the “Genie” to whom our letter is address. Though undated, the four-page letter was probably composed ca. 1885.  It appeared in the first published collection of Dickinson’s letters in 1894 (811.4 D553L, p. 427).

Dear “Genie,”

The love-flower you sent me is like a little vase of spice and fills the hall with cinnamon.

You must have skillful hands to make such sweet carnations. Perhaps your doll taught you. I know that dolls are sometimes wise. Robins are my dolls.

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I am glad you love the blossoms so well. I hope you love birds too. It is economical. It saves going to heaven.

Lovingly, Coz. Emily.

This autograph letter, as well as documents signed by Abraham Lincoln, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and others, may be viewed upon request by visiting Special Collections.

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