Horrible Death

XVII. I Never Saw a Moor

XVII.

I never saw a moor,
I never saw the sea;
Yet know I how the heather looks,
And what a wave must be.

I never spoke with God,
Nor visited in heaven;
Thank goodness this book with pictures
Is something I was given.

 

One of Dickinson’s most famous and accessible poems. However, the 1924 version is changed in crucial ways from Dickinson’s original—and I prefer the edited one, as inauthentic as that might be. For the “draft” above, I only changed the last two lines. Here is the last stanza in my preferred version:

I never spoke with God,
Nor visited in heaven;
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the chart were given.

 

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