Recently I have published some plog (poetry blog) posts about variations in poems by Emily Dickinson in the Johnson and Franklin editions of her poetry. This all started with a post about a quote from Oscar Wilde -- HERE -- and then I moved on to discuss Johnson v. Franklin -- HERE (from 3/10/19) and HERE (from 3/13/19).
In the post dated March 10, 2019, I discussed Dickinson's poem "It sifts from Leaden Sieves," which is number 311 in Johnson's edition and number 291 in Franklin's. Following the opening stanza, the poem differs significantly in the two volumes. In Johnson's book, the poem is 5 stanzas long. In Franklin's it is 3 -- and Franklin noted in the introduction to his collection that he always chose "the latest version of the entire poem, thereby giving to the poet, rather than the editor, the ownership of change.”
However, besides the two very different versions of the poem, there is one other mystery (or should I say, "myster-E"?): In Franklin's volume "The Poems of Emily Dickinson," there is a capital "E" just before the opening line of the poem.
No where else in the over-six-hundred page book with 1,789 poems does a letter appear before the start of a poem.
Does anyone know what this E stands for? Is it just a printing error -- or is that E supposed to be there?
If you can help solve this myster-E, please let me know. Comment below, or reach out on our "Contact Us" page, HERE.