Emily Dickinson's poems in translation/Polish/Hope is the Thing with Feathers/The manuscript vs. Editions

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On Higginson and Todd's edition[edit]

Higginson and Todd's version of the poem is the most heavily edited of them all. Although the poet didn't give titles to her works, they decided to do it, in the case of this poem they named it after its the first word, that is hope, written in capital letters and without quotation marks, which made the recipients ponder upon a different meaning behind the word. Additionally, in every of the three series of Dickinson's poems they divided them into four sections, called books. The poem, published in the second series, was put in the first book "Life" with the number six. They eliminated all the dashes, which are the trademarks of Dickinson's poetry. The capitalization of specific words was also normalizes, depriving them of their metaphorical meaning, so important in understanding of Dickinson's peculiar poetry. The two also introduced regular punctation, which in many places replaced dashes (like in the line "Yet, never, in extremity"). In the original version only the penultimate and the last verse were given punctation marks (a comma and a full stop respectively), which created a break from a steady flow of the preceding lines.

On Johnson's edition[edit]

Johnson's edition, in comparison to Higginson and Todd's one, seems much more faithful to the original text. He preserved almost all of the dashes (except for the one after the word 'Gale'and the one after the word 'Land'; also the word 'never' in the penultimate line is put between two commas, instead of dashes). The capitalization was not only maintained, but also broadened: Johnson capitalized the final word 'Me', which may suggest a different meaning behind the word, though unintended by Dickinson. The punctation of the manustcript version was also kept, with the additional commas replacing dashes in the penultimate line.

On Franklin's editions[edit]

  • The first edition

Franklin's first edition of the poem is similar to Higginson and Todd's one in many respects. He got rid of dashes and capitalizations, making the poem poorer in metaporical meaning. He also inroduced punctation marks, but used fewer than his preceders: there's no comma after the second and third line; he eliminated a comma after the ninth line and before 'never' in the penultimate one and he also replaced a semi colon after the tenth line with a comma. Nevertheless, he decided to leave the word 'hope' between quotation marks and didn't give the poem a title - it features with the number 314.

  • The second edition

The second edition, made 18 years after the first one, is faithful to the original manuscript version.