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  • billarnoldfla
    Dec 28, 2012

      Hi, Dickinsonians.

      OK: where were we Dickinsonians?

      You want proof that Judge Lord was not the secret "Master" of the early 1860s?

      OH: we were still on square one: love :)

      Count them: one, two, three ! ! !

      Yes, yes, yes: Emily Dickinson had three Masters.

      One Master died in 1850 and another she did not communicate with
      until 1862.

      Thus, it is not hard to figure out that the other Master who was
      the Secret Love Master was the one who went to Sea and "left the
      Land" just days before she communicated with that third Master.

      There were three, count them, one, two, three masters in the life
      of Emily Dickinson ! ! !

      In Letter 261 (Johnson) written by Emily Dickinson on 25 April 1862
      she clearly identified the IDENTITY of the Secret Love Master of The
      Masters ! ! ! She wrote, "When a little Girl, I had a friend, who
      taught me Immortality--but venturing too near, himself--he never
      returned--Soon after, my Tutor died...Then I found one more--but not
      contented I be his scholar--so he left the Land."

      Her first Tutor gave the "Master Oration" in Amherst when she was
      in her teens, as she said "a little Girl." She was his Tutor, he
      her "Master/Teacher." He was principal of Amherst Academy between
      September 1846 and June of 1847 when Emily Dickinson was sweet
      sixteen and impressionable enough to be greatly impressed with a
      masterful teacher. Every Dickinson scholar worth their salt knows
      who this first Master was !

      Her second Tutor was Samuel Bowles, and she signed her "Marchioness"
      letter to him as Her "Master/Tutor" in the symbolism of Dickens' tale
      of "Dick Swiveller" and the story of the teacher of the servant girl
      who saved his life. Indeed, this second "Master/Tutor" was "not
      contented [she] be his scholar--so he left the Land" in 1862, the
      year after she saved his life, and he ventured onto the Blue Sea and
      went to Europe ! ! !

      Her third Tutor was Higginson, and she signed herself as "Your Scholar"
      and addressed him as "Master" as she sought another teacher in her
      quest for developing her writing skills ! !

      However, the only one Master of The Masters who inspired the "Master"
      letters, inasmuch as her first "Master/Tutor" died in 1850, was the
      second of the three, Samuel Bowles ! ! !

      In 1998 I wrote, "Lady in white ship-wrecked at sea, Sam swam away, 1862,"
      page 143 of my book *Emily Dickinson's Secret Love*: her biography is fraught
      wrong interpretations of 'who' was 'Master."...In September, 1861, Sam Bowles
      became "deathly" ill and took his cure for a month or more in Northampton,
      next door to Amherst. In Letter 241, of October 1861, she wrote Sam
      may be sure of the 'marchioness.'" In Charles Dickens' The Old Curiosity Shop
      was the "small servant" girl of fourteen who Dick Swiveller became indebted to,
      and finally married. This last fact should not escape us. When Dick was
      ill, it was she, the Marchioness, who sat by his bedside a full month and nursed
      back to health. Obviously, letter 241 indicates Emily Dickinson was there for
      Sam Bowles in Northampton. Forever grateful, Dick Swiveller said "we'll make a
      scholar of the poor marchioness yet!" Dick Swiveller intervened and educated
      into a "scholar" and schooled her a half-dozen years in the social graces, so by
      nineteen she was "good-looking, clever, and good-humored." We know for fact
      Sam Bowles was at the Dickinson Homestead in 1849 for tea when she was nineteen.
      Thus, in the Dickens' tale, Dick Swiveller realized that the "young lady saving
      up for
      him after all" the years had made herself worthy, and he married her. End of
      In real life, Emily Dickinson was telling Sam that he could "be sure" of her.
      she meant he could be sure of her love and devotion, forever.

      In 1862, despite her pleading for him to stay in America, Sam Bowles sailed to
      for his health. Within the week, she wrote Higginson, the Boston editor,
      calling herself
      "Your scholar." Referring to the sickness of Sam Bowles, who she had feared
      would die,
      she wrote, "I had a terror--since September." Devoted to Sam as the Marchioness
      to Dick, Emily Dickinson began to dress in white and refused the company of men.
      Her hope was that in the "spirit" of the tale, someday they might marry in real
      If not, they were wedded in *spirit.* Forevermore.

      No doubt, the Master letters to a "deathly" ill Master were destined for Sam

      As an author of letters, letter-poems and poems, already published
      in the Springfield Daily Republican, Emily Dickinson explicated her
      "EXACT CONCEPTION OF THE AUTHOR" in her delineation of her DEFINITION
      of the relationship: "Master-Tutor." She had had two previously, and
      was seeking the third !! The second was The Master of The Masters who
      inspired circa one thousand Secret Love poems. And SHE was THE Tutor
      to ALL three, as her biography CLEARLY proves from the primary
      documents available to ALL Dickinson scholars.

      Indeed! Emily Dickinson did NOT write poems in a closet intended
      for mental imaginings of students of Dickinson. Let us Dickinsonians
      accept the TRUTH that she wrote her writings to RECORD herself in
      her world, and her poems were an expression of her love of life, and
      her love of The Master of The Masters!

      As said, there are many Masters, but in the life of Emily Dickinson
      there was only ONE Master named Samuel Bowles who inspired circa
      one thousand Secret Love poems and myriad letters and letter-poems
      addressed DIRECTLY to him in which she identified herself as HIS
      Queen, his Lily, his Rose!

      The word Master carries many connotations in this world, as it did
      in the nineteenth century: and in the case of Emily Dickinson it is
      IMPOSSIBLE to execute viable exegeses of her opus of poems without
      understanding her biography and how much she wrote autobiographically.
      NO DOUBT her circa one thousand letters are autobiographical, and
      because so many poems we ponder were IN FACT letter-poems to named
      recipients, ESPECIALLY the MASTER, no credible exegegis can masquerade
      as legitimate without SPECIFIC reference to her biography.

      Isn't it interesting that Dickinsonians who are scholars are the ones
      who read these posts to EmMail and the students of Dickinson who are
      part of the olde [and I mean olde :) ] EMWEB clique still only write
      about THEMSELVES and offer up nothing about Emily Dickinson. And the
      reason IS, they have nothing to say of value, inasmuch as they are not
      scholars nor are they truly students of DICKINSON. They are mere olde
      EMWEBBERS who wish to muddy already muddled waters. They want to READ
      their OWN words, and not words ABOUT Emily Dickinson.

      Let US Dickinsonians make this absolutely clear: there will always
      be such imposters who want to talk about themselves and not about
      Dickinson. But EmMail is for anyone who truly wishes to post about
      Emily Dickinson, and her writings, and her biography. So:

      READ ON TO THE BITTER END about Emily Dickinson, which some
      EMWEBBERS do not wish for you to do, as they wish the TRUTH about
      Emily Dickinson and her Master who inspired circa one thousand
      Secret Love poems not to be known!

      Note folks: that's MORE than HALF of Emily Dickinson's entire
      production, and TWICE the total output of most poets, including
      Robert Frost!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      In Dickinson scholarship, the war rages on between those who would
      READ the writings Emily Dickinson wrote, and those who READ only
      their own musings thereupon. Emily Dickinson wrote poems as part
      of a composite opus intended to be READ as an artful expression of
      her exact autobiographical conception as an author of an allegorical
      work in which she embedded her Master and herself, as King and Queen,
      as Bee and Rose, as Bird and Nest. Let there be NO DOUBT, she was
      a SYMBOLIST poet in the tradition of the troubadour poets of classical
      European literature.

      Poem 151 (Johnson) speaks to the question plainly for those with eyes
      to READ and minds to THINK about her EXACT words. They are crystal
      CLEAR about her Secret Love affair in circa one thousand love poems,
      and evident in her circa one thousand letters and letter-poems to
      NAMED recipients. The latter are compiled also by Johnson into three
      volumes, and recent scholarship amplifies upon them but her writings
      in toto need to be read not piecemeal but as an opus.

      Know, also, Dickinsonians, that students of Dickinson generally do
      not read her writings but do ponder a couple dozen well-known poems,
      and little else. They care only about their own mental dazzles and
      regard the "exact conception of the author" which ruled the mind and
      pen of Emily Dickinson as irrelevant. Just so you KNOW!

      Now WE know!

      We know that when Emily Dickinson wrote Poem 35 (Johnson) in 1858
      and Samuel Bowles published it in his Springfield Daily Republican
      that in her telling line, "Nobody knows this little Rose," there
      was a modicum of TRUTH in the statement.

      But: NOW we KNOW!!

      Dickinsonians know all about the "Rose" and the "Bee"--all about
      Emily Dickinson and Samuel Bowles! That is, Dickinsonians who can
      read and comprehend her biography KNOW!!!

      Beginning some time in 1857, Emily Dickinson spent her daily life
      embedding into her autobiographical writings, ipso facto--ALL her
      letters, poems and letter-poems--her "biography."

      Clearly, the outpouring of autobiographical details about her
      Secret Love affair in circa one thousand love poems is self-evident
      to all Dickinsonians with the collected works at hand and the eyes to
      read with COMPREHENSION. Her circa one thousand letters offer an
      eyeful, or two, as well :) Often, poems, letter-poems and letters
      written at the SAMe time offer the BEST clues to the only exegeses
      which make COMPLETE sense: an AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL interpretation of her
      CANON of writings.

      The myriad Sir, Sire, Master, He, Him, His referents clearly identify
      ALL HER WRITINGS as one and the same: an autobiographical immortal
      Soulmate love story written for posterity, masquerading as poetry.

      OK: the two-dozen most famously critiqued and well-crafted little
      masterpieces, anthologized and beloved worldwide, are poems which
      are first-rate and CAN stand on their own, as individual pieces,
      and yet they are for the most part part-and-parcel of the grand
      scheme of her passion drama like the famous LE ROMAN DE LA ROSE.
      Her DREAM ALLEGORY spread out in circa one thousand Secret Love
      poems is not unlike the narrative poetic French masterpiece of the
      thirteenth century. Dickinson scholars understand all of this,
      but students of Dickinson deficient in a knowledge of comparative
      literature need to take a walk on the wild side of love which
      inspired Emily Dickinson to her own modern masterpiece, her OPUS
      work of of writings, as her legacy appears in her many writings.
      They NEED to read LE ROMAN DE LA ROSE, just as Emily Dickinson
      steeped herself in the French classics.

      As a case in point:

      In Master Letter 233 (Johnson) Emily Dickinson wrote "Master."

      That is the way she started that communication to her Master,
      and she wrote in her "exact conception of the author," to wit,
      the following: "If you saw a bullet hit a Bird--and he told you
      he was'nt shot--you might weep at his courtesy, but you would
      certainly doubt his word."

      Well, there is NO DOUBT that circa one thousand Secret Love poems,
      and myriad letters and letter-poems were written to this SAMe
      Master who she soon wrote "God made me--Sir--Master" and left
      NO DOUBT that her MALE recipient was her one and only Master,
      the one who held the LOADED GUN and SHOT her through her vulnerable
      HEART with the modern LOVE BULLET rather than the mythic Cupid
      arrow! She literally DIED in his arms, and yet LIVED to tell all
      posterity the TRUTH of their Secret Love affair. And her METAPHORS
      were uniquely her own, in this, HER, TALE of immortal SOULMATE LOVE!

      Someone, somewhere, of no great consequence, once said that "the
      'master' question is there, but of no great consequence."
      Of course, the lie within that questionable statement is patently
      false, inasmuch as these same "of no great consequence" emailers
      would have you believe they can offer up any valid exegesis of the
      circa one thousand Secret Love poems and myriad letters written by
      Emily Dickinson to and about that same MASCULINE Master of great
      and significant consequence not only in TRUTHFUL interpretations
      of her poems, but elucidation of her letters via her biographical
      events during her lifetime.

      One wonders did Emily Dickinson write about her Secret Master in
      symbols? Did she write it so scholars and students of Dickinson
      would comment on her style of creating autobiographical writing?
      Or did she write her poems, letters, and letter-poems so readers
      would become engaged with the persona of herself and her Secret
      Love, her Master, and their immortal Soulmate story?

      Surely, Dickinsonians, of all readers in the world, know by
      now that Emily Dickinson had an "exact conception of the
      author" belief about her own writings, and expected all and
      sundry to read her writings with an "exact conception of the
      author" in mind.

      Author Reid corresponded with Emily Dickinson's sister Lavinia,
      and her words are recorded in her writings, along with the
      words written by Lavinia to her. Those sterling words are
      worth our undivided attention.

      Is there any Dickinson scholar worth their salt who doubts that
      writer Reid--who wrote nearly a century ago and personally
      corresponded with Emily's sister Lavinia, who lived all those
      years of her life in the Homestead with her--wrote the TRUTH
      about Emily Dickinson's "EXACT CONCEPTION OF THE AUTHOR." What
      an astounding and brilliant statement about the precision of the
      autobiographical poet, whose circa one thousand Secret Love poems
      have so captured the world of readers! Even to author Reid, it
      was apparent by her remarks, that Emily Dickinson capured HER heart
      as a reader and catapulted her to the realm of early reviewers of
      the talent of America's premiere poet.

      Right on, write on, read Reid!

      As Dickinsonians have noted over the last several years, two,
      just TWO old emweb clique members play at the game of selective
      scholarship, and they play it poorly. They IGNORE vital documents
      WRITTEN by Emily Dickinson's sister Lavinia--to their own peril.
      No longer reasonable writers; alas, they are lost sheep in the
      wilderness of mindless pettifoggery and have lost FOREVER their

      They IGNORE Dickinson scholars such as Arnold, Habeggar, Worralls,
      Polly Longsworth, Richard Sewall, Theodora Ward, Higgins, Scott,
      et al., and refuse to follow normal protocols of good scholarship.

      Dickinsonians: students of Dickinson, especially, do NOT be swayed
      by these TWO possibiliti-ites aka circumfer-ettes any longer. They
      have absolutely NO CREDIBILTY in the world of Dickinson scholarship,
      nor will they EVER. No, never, zilch, zip, nada !!!!!!!

      Doubting Thomases among the POSSIBILITI-ites and the
      CIRCUMFER-ettes should READ what Lavinia Dickinson
      wrote [EFFECTively SAID] about her sister Emily Dickinson
      and the latter's love of the "EXACT CONCEPTION OF THE AUTHOR" !

      Read Reid ! Consult the EmMail archives in which I published a
      complete and thorough analysis of Reid's infamous article, which
      has risen like cream to the top of the Dickinson milkshake ! Drink
      deeply at this well, as it is the fait accompli of the demise of
      the POSSIBILITI-ites and the CIRCUMFER-ettes ! Bye-Bye to their
      childish nonsense !!!!!!!

      R-E-A-D R-E-I-D ! ! ! Lavinia Dickinson, sister to Emily, the
      one woman on the face of the planet who KNEW the American bard,
      Writer, BETTER than any other documented FEMALE writer who has
      penned about her, will NOT be denied her day in court :)

      For Dickinsonians who wish NOT to be fooled by the possibiliti-ites
      NOR the circumfer-ents, or -ets, or -ettes,
      or whatever they wish to call their

      AUTHOR" which Emily Dickinson embraced, relished and lived by in her
      READ-ing and WRITE-ing and PERFORM-ing of poems ! ! !

      Knowledgeable Dickinsonians who have READ Habeggar and REID, and have
      READ Bill Arnold's scintillating remarks on this EXCLUSIVE subject,
      KNOW that the "EXACT CONCEPTION OF THE AUTHOR" is de rigeur when it
      comes to EXEGESES of the poems, letter-poems and letters, and the
      BIOGRAPHY of Emily Dickinson, the American bard, writer ! ! ! ! !

      N-O-W, and F-O-R-E-V-E-R more, and M-O-R-E !!!!!!!

      Emily Dickinson had an "exact conception of the author" when
      it came to exegeses of poems--of those she read, and obviously of
      those she wrote--and expected others to read and interpret her own
      poems with the same exactness. Her sister Lavinia was quoted as
      having written of Emily Dickinson:

      "Emily was herself a most charming reader. It was done with
      great simplicity and naturalness, with an earnest desire to
      express the exact conception of the author, without any thought
      of herself, or the impression her reading was sure to make."

      Now, the key buzz words appear to me to be "exact" and "conception"
      and "author." So, let's have a go at an exegesis, shall we?

      Apparently, sister Lavinia and cousins Fran and Loo noticed in their
      travels with Emily Dickinson that she wrote poetry, and read it, as
      well. And she read it well, and _in fact_, she literally gave what
      we call today, "poetry readings."

      Apparently, Emily Dickinson was "herself a most charming reader."
      That's neat to know, seems to fit the poet I know from her biography.

      Apparently, Emily Dickinson was aware that her "charming" reading
      might "sure to make" an "impression" of those witnessing it. Stands
      to reason, as she was _sure_ one smart and elegant lady.

      Apparently, from Lavinia, Emily Dickinson "without any thought" for
      herself, that is, down-playing the "impression her reading was sure
      to make," gave her readings "with great simplicity and naturalness."
      Now: THAT, I like. Meaning: if it was her OWN words, she let the
      words speak for themselves, and if it was another's poem, she seemed
      to not want her "impression" to be of importance, but again, the
      WORDS of the poem! In other words: she was NOT an actress, but an
      artist, not a stage personae, but a writer--of words.

      Now to the kernel of the quotation by sister Lavinia, the meat of
      the matter, the essence of the thought: Emily Dickinson when doing
      these poetry readings, whether her OWN or another's words, had "an
      earnest desire to express the exact conception of the author." In
      other words: unlike MaDonna, she did NOT grab her crotch and make
      herself important. Which is fine, all well and good for My Lady
      of the Stage, an Actress, a Stage Personae.

      But that is NOT what Emily Dickinson sought. Nor did she desire
      we Dickinsonians as readers should make OURSELVES important as
      readers. She did NOT say "express yourself," because she did NOT
      wish to "express HERSELF" in her public readings, but wished
      to "express the exact conception of the author."

      Ah, yes, the kernel: the author! The exact conception of the author!

      It seems self-evident from the above, if I have analyzed the quotation
      properly and written the exegesis accordingly, that the author's
      conception is supreme in the mind of Emily Dickinson, as writer, and
      as reader. It was, and IS, important, if we are to agree with her:
      which, by the way, that Dickinsonians must get to the

      In the case of Emily Dickinson, the possibilities and circumferences
      of various readers is OUT! What mattered to Emily Dickinson was that
      we Dickinsonians GET DOWN, really DIG IT, get into the EXACT words she
      used in each and every poem, and all en masse and in conjunction with
      each other, inclusive of her biography, and anything and everything we
      can put our little minds on and into, in order to understand precisely
      what WAS the CONCEPTION OF THE AUTHOR. And in this case, it was
      Emily Dickinson, and her words.

      When a writer "reports" what someone says, they are quoting them. If
      they didn't "say" it, then the writer CANNOT report what they said.
      Journalism 101! In this case Habeggar quotes Mary Reid and Mary Reid
      quotes sister Lavinia Dickinson, and cites written documents. Sorry
      about that, folks, but the TRUTH hurts!

      The TRUTH is that Emily Dickinson believed in the "EXACT

      Well, welcome to Emily Dickinson's WORLD OF PERSPICUITY: Poem 1455,
      "Opinion is a flitting thing, / But Truth, outlasts the Sun--"

      Emily Dickinson and Samuel Bowles are UP THERE, looking down and
      smiling at us Dickinsonians :)

      So: WHO was that masked man, the Master, anyway?

      The Lavinia Dickinson documents which Mary Reid quotes may be
      consulted by those Dickinson scholars who wished to look at them,
      first hand. But we all know, what Lavinia wrote about her sister
      Emily Dickinson in a letter to Mary Reid makes perfect sense
      from her biography, and then too we have to take note that they
      lived together all those years in the Homestead.

      And not even Susan Dickinson next door could claim to know Emily
      Dickinson like Lavinia!

      So if sister Lavinia thOUGHT that Emily Dickinson had "an earnest
      desire to express the exact conception of the author," who am I to
      argue with that brilliant riposte to the possibilit-ites and the
      circumferents? They ought to get a life!

      Read AGAIN and AGAIN: B-I-O-G-R-A-P-H-Y !

      The TRUTH of her biography IS: the masculine Master was
      Samuel Bowles of Springfield.

      Read: B-I-O-G-R-A-P-H-Y !

      The TRUTH of the matter at hand, her biography, IS: the
      female "Queen" of her King Master Samuel Bowles was,
      as far as Emily Dickinson saw fit, herself!

      Excuse me: read, read, READ: B-i-o-g-r-a-p-h-y !

      When Emily Dickinson wrote Letter 268 (Johnson) in those 1862 days
      after Master Sam Bowles went to Europe and left her in the lurch, she
      was seeking her third "Master"! Not the LOVE of her life, as she had
      already had THAT in SAM B. But she was seeking "My Business is
      Circumference," i.e., to encompass in her life the fullness of
      that around her. Her "exact conception of the author" would not
      be compromised in seeking to PULL all in and write about it. No,
      she sought to see all, hear all, sense all, and put her own spin
      on things. But no where in this writer's "business" was she asking
      the world of readers to spin their own exegeses out of false cloth.
      She gave us the woven tapestry, and it was OURS to see as she,
      Emily Dickinson, spun her web of intrigue in her EXACT CONCEPTION.

      Emily Dickinson had an "exact conception of the author" when
      it came to exegeses of poems--of those she read, and obviously of
      those she wrote--and expected others to read and interpret her own
      poems with the same exactness. Her sister Lavinia was quoted as
      saying of Dickinson:

      "Emily was herself a most charming reader. It was done with
      great simplicity and naturalness, with an earnest desire to
      express the exact conception of the author, without any thought
      of herself, or the impression her reading was sure to make."

      For emphasis, Dickinsonians note, Emily had:



      Well, Dickinsonians, it seems explicit, does it not? Emily
      Dickinson believed that "the exact conception of the author" was
      paramount in poetry exegeses and readings.

      Of course, that means that "possibility" and "circumference"
      is a flawed concept applied to her poetry, and Emily Dickinson
      herself would have us read her poems, instead, NOT for the minds
      of the readers but for "the exact conception of the author."

      In literary criticism, some writers and scholars who were of
      the school of the New Critics were _purists_ and called reading
      into poems anything of the poet's life, "the biographical fallacy."
      Then those same critics expanded their thinking into newer ventures
      called Structuralism, and eventually, the school of Deconstruction.

      But, Dickinsonians, Emily Dickinson herself would have none of
      these schools of thought inasmuch as she was of the old, old school:
      that poems have meaning, as the words of the poems have meaning, and
      she sought "the exact conception of the author." Otherwise, why
      would she refer SO OFTEN to the "Master" and "Sir" and "Sire"--the
      masculine referent so OBVIOUS in her circa one thousand Secret Love

      Emily Dickinson's "method for reading a poem" was as _exact_
      as science. She was _not_ into circumference or possibility when
      it came to an author's words, if she were to do a "reading." There
      is no doubt her sister Lavinia said of her that "Emily was herself
      a most charming reader. It was done with great simplicity and
      naturalness, with an earnest desire to express the exact conception
      of the author, without any thought of herself, or the impression her
      reading was sure to make."

      Who, among Dickinsonians, could argue with that? Well, these
      same critics can come full circle and back to the view of Emily
      Dickinson: as explicit as you can get, when it comes to poetry
      readings or exegeses: "express the exact conception of the author."

      Truth of the biography and how it applies to exegeses of
      her autobiographical poems is the only thing which is going to solve
      the mystery of what was Emily Dickinson's "exact conception of the

      When asked about my beliefs that the biography of Emily
      Dickinson should be formed as the basis for poem interpretation,
      the noted UMass-Amherst professor and Dickinson scholar David Porter
      was quoted in an interview in the _Springfield Union News_ as
      saying: "readers need to read what Arnold has to say and judge
      for themselves."

      Master Letter 233 (Johnson) was written by Emily Dickinson and
      unlike poems manufactured into booklets, it is a letter-poem meant
      for Samuel Bowles, signed, internally "Daisy," in ink, circa winter
      1861, while Samuel Bowles, her Master, was in New York state and his
      wife was delivering their child, Charles, which Emily Dickinson wanted
      named Robert. Emily Dickinson, however, left it in her personal
      effects after her death, thus placing it into the series of her love
      letters to the world, and made it explicit by its content that the
      "Master" was _not_ Jesus, and yet the letter-poem clearly is about her
      Secret "Sir/Master;" you see, the love letter to her Master Samuel
      Bowles, is in the Amherst College Special Collections, and of which now
      I will share some very special aspects of this Master and his _Queen_
      primary document of TRUTH:

      Dickinsonians, we begin this thread with a quote from Habegger's
      _My Wars Are Laid Away in Books_:

      "The phrase 'like you,' one of many interlineated additions, makes
      explicit the recipient's gender and thus stands in the way of those who
      would like Master to be female. Martha Nell Smith has conducted
      something of a scorched-earth attack on these two words, calling them
      'redundant,' declaring the handwriting comes from a 'much different
      time,' even suggesting they are a fraudulent interpolation 'by
      whomever.' I have examined the manuscript and can see no basis for the
      last two claims."

      I whole-hearted agree with Habegger's remarks.

      It is reminiscent of other claims elsewhere that certain documents
      with a definitive provenance from the Bowles' family to Special
      Collections Amherst College Library should somehow be seen as been
      sent to Susan Gilbert Dickinson. Such claims are nonsense. Let the
      experts with forensic abilities, microscopy, et al., as per
      methodologies laid out in Simon Worrall's _The Poet and the Murderer_,
      be the judge of those claims to the contrary of known facts. This
      holding up to the light and "seeing things" and labelling Emily
      Dickinson's interlineations "fraudulent" is ridiculous.

      In fact, a careful and judicious reading of Master Letter 233
      clearly identifies the recipient as Samuel Bowles. No doubt, all
      the evidence of the biography as known of Emily Dickinson puts the
      "Sir/Master" as a REAL person, named: Samuel Bowles. No one needed
      to doctor a document to suggest the Master had a "beard" as the letter
      Emily Dickinson wrote makes that tacitly CLEAR. What else the meaning:
      paraphrased, if you had my petals, as in, I, Emily Dickinson, the
      flower, Daisy, and I were you, the bearded Master, who should make the
      moves, and fly up here and come to Amherst from New York, and pollenate
      my blossom, and what would happen to you if the roles were reversed?
      It is clear from the letter, that the Master was showing reluctance to
      make the trip and visit his Secret Love.

      Not only that, we have the internal evidence of the word "Sir"
      at least four times, and that IS enough to warrant this Letter 233
      as a document in INK in which none can doubt that her "Sir/Master"
      was the same "Sir/Master" of circa one thousand Secret Love poems.
      Pray tell, what IS Martha Nell Smith playing out as a scholar of
      the life of Susan Gilbert Dickinson that she must seek out ghosts and
      goblins where none exist? What does Habegger mean when he alleges
      that Martha Nell Smith "has conducted something of a scorched-earth
      attack" on this Master Letter 233?

      Just as her co-author Ellen Louise Hart has published at least
      one of the "Sir/Master" poems with the line with the word "Sir" in
      omission! And then laid claim to that poem as possibly [that word
      again!] intended for a female recipient. How is it possible that such
      is considered the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,
      so help us, God? Such activities to deny Emily Dickinson her male
      Master Samuel Bowles as claimant to her heart and inspiration of circa
      one thousand love poems strikes this Dickinson scholar, Bill Arnold,
      as outrageous, and yes, worthy of the appellation, "a scorched-earth
      attack" on the "Sir/Master" scenario. When one tells the truth as a
      scholar, the same rules of a court of law apply. Truth by
      commission/omission is a fundamental tenet of the law. Violate either
      side of the equation, and the truth test has not been met.

      Martha Nell Smith and Ellen Louise Hart must answer to Habegger's
      allegation. Their scholarship, as such, IS in serious question as to
      its credibility, as it pertains to the "Sir/Master" aspect of the canon
      of writings of Emily Dickinson.

      For emphasis, Dickinsonians note, Emily had:



      Well, Dickinsonians, it seems explicit, does it not?
      According to her sister Lavinia, Emily Dickinson believed that
      "the exact conception of the author" was paramount in poetry
      exegeses and readings.

      So, what WAS her "exact conception of the author" in "Sir/Master"
      Letter 233?

      So, WHO was this "Sir/Master" who was a "cipher/cypher" in
      "Sir/Master" Letter 233?

      Well, the "EXACT" same "_your Queen_" referents in "Sir/Master"
      Letter 233 and in "Sir/Master" Letter 249, also in ink, and signed
      "Emily," and sent to Samuel Bowles, clearly identifies the recipient
      as Samuel Bowles, her editor/Secret Love.

      Dickinsonians know that Emily Dickinson's Master was
      Samuel Bowles, inasmuch as all the corollary evidence supports
      the fact: the biographical record clearly proves that all the
      "Bee" and "Rose" and Daisy" and "Lily" referents embedded
      in letters to her Master, and letter-poems to Samuel Bowles,
      and circa one thousand secret love poems to her Master, with
      SAM B letters in capitalized form was created by her to leave
      a legacy and poetic record of this greatest of love affairs
      of the nineteenth century in American literature, by the
      American bard, Emily Dickinson, writer!

      We are still on square one: love :)

      Bill Arnold

      Bill Arnold
      MFA, U-Mass, Amherst
      Dickinson Scholar
      Independent Scholar
      Independent Scholar, Modern Language Association
      Professor of world literature classics
      Author, EMILY DICKINSON'S SECRET LOVE: Mystery "Master" Behind Poems,
      230 pages, 1998.
      ISBN 1-892582-00-7

      "There is magic in the web" Shakespeare (Othello, Act 3, Scene 4)