The Emily Dickinson Journal
Writing to Dickinson in 1869, the year before he met the poet in Amherst, Thomas Wentworth Higginson describes the discomfort that Dickinson's haunting presence could inflict on a man fully at home in domesticated art: "Sometimes I take out your letters & verses, dear friend, and when I feel their strange power, it is not strange that I find it hard to write . . ." (L461, #330a). Dickinson's writing, Higginson continues, provides him no clear target for his words: "I should like to hear from you very often, but feel always timid lest what I write should be badly aimed & miss that fine edge of thought which you bear. . . . I think if I could once see you & know that you are real, I might fare better." But when actually confronted with Dickinson's physical presence, Higginson had no better luck in reaching the heart of her mystery.
Crumbley, Paul. “Art’s Haunted House: Dickinson’s Sense of Self.” The Emily Dickinson Journal 5.2 (1996): 78-84