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581Dickinson's biography: Emily Dickinson had 3 Masters

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  • dickinson1890
    Apr 6, 2011
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      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EmilyDickinsonPoet/message/107

      Hi, Dickinsonians.

      Emily Dickinson had three Masters: but number 2 was the MASTER of her poems.

      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
      three 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, the man of the famous 1861-62 events: 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
      with 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 "'Swiveller' may be sure of the 'marchioness.'" In Charles Dickens' The Old Curiosity Shop it 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 "deathly" ill, it was she, the Marchioness, who sat by his bedside a full month and nursed him 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 her 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
      tale. In real life, Emily Dickinson was telling Sam that he could "be sure" of her. Precisely, 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
      Europe 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 was 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 life. If not, they were wedded in *spirit.* Forevermore.

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

      Here is the historical record, crystal clear, for Dickinsonians, scholars and students of her biography:

      On 9 Apr 1862 Bowles with his brother Ben left NYC on steamship China for Europe[Leyda 2.52].

      On 22 Apr 1862 Wed Bowles arrived Liverpool, England; Bowles spent 13 days on Sea Blue[Leyda 2.58]. Leyda quotes the 8 May 1862 Republican, in which Bowles published his first letter from Europe in his own newspaper[dated on board the China steamship, off Liverpool, 22 Apr 1862, Tue], "We land at Liverpool this noon, at the end of our 13th day."

      On 25 Apr 1862, Fri, Emily Dickinson in Amherst wrote to Thomas Wentworth Higginson in Boston, "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." Emily Dickinson had two Masters up until then and Higginson would become her third. 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, 2.404-05) written by Emily Dickinson on 25 April 1862 she clearly identified the IDENTITY of the Secret Love Master of The Masters ! ! ! 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 was this first Master! Her second Tutor/Master 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[1862] after she saved[1861] his life, and he ventured onto the Blue Sea and went to Europe ! ! ! Her third Tutor/Master 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 with wrong interpretations of 'who' was 'Master." In 1861, Sam Bowles became "deathly" ill and took his cure for a month and a half in Northampton, next door to Amherst. By September he was in such ill health, Emily Dickinson referred to the momentous moment as "I had a terror since September." He had entered Dr. Denniston's water-cure hospital on 16 Oct 1861, Wed, and stayed until 28 Nov 1861, Thu. In Letter 241, of October 1861, Emily Dickinson in Amherst wrote Sam Bowles in nearby Northampton, "'Swiveller' may be sure of the 'Marchioness.'" In Charles Dickens' The Old Curiosity Shop it 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 "deathly" ill, it was she, the Marchioness, who sat by his bedside a full month and nursed him 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 her 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 tale. In real life, Emily Dickinson was telling Sam that he could "be sure" of her. Precisely, she meant he could be sure of her love and devotion, forever.

      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 autobiographical letter-poems to named recipients, especially the MASTER, no credible exegegis can masquerade
      as legitimate without SPECIFIC reference to her biography.

      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.

      Poem 151 (Johnson) circa 1859 was in pencil on a scrap of paper and
      not placed in her booklets. Decidedly, it is a *Master* poem. And,
      of course, he was a King, her "Sir," her "Sire," her "Master," decked out
      in his "Ermine"

      Mute thy Coronation--
      Meek my Vive le roi,
      Fold a tiny courtier
      In thine Ermine, Sir,
      There to rest revering
      Till the pageant by,
      I can murmur broken,
      Master, It was I--

      --Emily Dickinson

      Such a "tiny" poem by a "wren"-like "courtier" and taken into
      consideration with all the other "Master" and "Sir" and "Sire" and
      "Lord" and "King" poems written by a "courtier" or a "Queen" or a
      "Daisy" or a "Rose"--ad infinitum--and you have a totally different
      biography of Emily Dickinson.

      If you have read my book EDSL, then you have some knowledge
      how Emily Dickinson wove her biography into the first line "Mute thy
      Coronation." Perhaps, as I suggested, Samuel Bowles was a Mason, and
      this reflected on his "Coronation" as a "Master" in the Masonic
      Order. Because such matters were secret except to insiders, it
      would have been "Mute thy Coronation."

      Thus, "Meek my Vive le roi" harkens the "Master" letter
      reference to him in Letter 249, in which Queen Emily calls herself
      "his Queen." It also invokes him, the recipient, as the "Plantagent"
      of the other three "Master" letters and all that entails. That
      particular reference bothered me for a decade and more--until I
      unlocked it with the knowledge that the first of the Plantagenet
      Kings was married to Eleanor of Aquitaine who was the first Queen of
      the troubadours. And the rest, as they say, is history. That is,
      history of the troubadour movement in France which spread to England
      when the adulterous Queen married the English King and brought to
      England the tradition of troubadour poetry which had reigned under
      her grandfather, Duke William IX, "The Troubadour."

      Obviously, for those with my book EDSL, the chapter entitled
      "The Code of Courtly Love" will prove invaluable to unlocking this
      poem, if my approach to it is considered significant and valid. More
      than 1,000 years in Europe, at all the courts of royalty, courtiers
      were making poems for their "Masters."

      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" commentators
      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?

      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:

      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.

      Just as some so-called Dickinson scholars 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. 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.

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

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