Life

XII. I Asked No Other Thing

XII.

I asked no other thing,
No other was denied.
I offered Being for it;
The mighty merchant smiled.

Brazil nuts? He twirled a button,
Without a glance my way:
“But, madam, is dere nuttin’ else
I can shell you to-day?”

 

The 1924 version; the authentic version, using the remarkably different “sneered.” A particularly funny and enigmatic poem, even cited in a 1913 critique of Dickinson in The Atlantic (“a union of playfulness and of terrible comment upon the thwarted aspirations of a suffering soul”).