Our’s be the tossing…

June 23, 2009

How sick—to wait—

[I]n any place—but thine—

I knew last night—when

[S]omeone tried to twine—


Thinking—perhaps—that

I looked tired—or alone—

Or breaking—almost—with

[U]nspoken pain—


And I turned—ducal—

That right—was thine—

One port—suffices—

[F]or a Brig—like mine


Our’s be the tossing—

[W]ild through the sea—

Rather than a mooring—

[U]nshared by thee.


Our’s be the Cargo—

[U]nladenhere

Rather than the “spicy isles—”

And thou—not there—





(God, that’s beautiful.)

It is the autograph manuscript version of Emily Dickinson’s “How sick—to wait—in any place—but thine—” (Fr.410), which “shows traces of an earlier and more conventional structure of rhyme, enabling us to attempt an archeological reconstruction of what the poem may have looked like during the first stages of its construction.”


Domhnall Mitchell, Measures of Possibility: Emily Dickinson’s Manuscripts, Amherst and Boston: U of Massachusetts P, 2005: 257.

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One Response to “Our’s be the tossing…”

  1. cecilia Says:

    It is beautiful indeed, I found this following the poetry tag.

    Reading this I definitely ‘pile like Thunder to its close/then crumble grand away’..thanks for this post.


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