January 21st, 2011
The full Poems by Johnson does not actually have definitive info about to whom ED may have sent this poem, though a local Amherst woman thinks it may have come to her mother (no one we know). BUT, interestingly, there are 3 different “fair copies” of this poem, one loose and two in different fascicles, and they differ. What we have in our Reading Edition is the last version, probably recorded around 1864, a little strangely since it is grouped in 1859.
Check out the differences — lots to analyze here:
1. (1859, Fascicle 3)
I hide myself within my flower
That wearing on your breast –
You – unsuspecting, wear me too –
And angels know the rest!
2. (1863, loose on embossed notepaper, as if for sending, pinholes at the top but not folded or addressed)
I hide Myself within my flower,
That fading from your Vase,
You, unsuspecting, feel for me –
Almost a loneliness.
Note: line divisions as written come after Myself (1), from (2), and unsuspecting (3)
3. (1864, Fascicle 40)
I hide myself – within my flower,
That fading from your Vase –
You – unsuspecting – feel for me –
Almost – a loneliness –
Note: line divisions as written come after within (1), your (2), and for (3)