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Lyric tipplers: Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "Wine of Cyprus," Emily Dickinson's "I taste a Liquor," and the transatlantic Anacreontic tradition.

In August 1846, shortly before their marriage, Robert Browning told Elizabeth Barrett that one work in her 1844 Poems had "always affected" him "profoundly"--"perhaps ... more profoundly" than any other by her, filling his "heart with unutterable desires." (1) The poem that aroused such "unutterable desires"--"Wine of Cyprus"--is little read today. In the mid-nineteenth century, however, it was a universally praised minor poem in the collection that made "Elizabeth Barrett Barrett" England's most internationally recognized woman poet. Like EBB's other 1844 works, "Wine of Cyprus" was included in the successively expanded collections of Poems (1850, 1853, 1856) published under her married name, reproduced in pirated editions in America. These widely reviewed collections made "Mrs. Browning's poems ... household words in Massachusetts to every school boy & (yet more) every school girl," Thomas Wentworth Higginson observed to her poet-husband in a letter of January 1854 (BC 20: 53). Although Emily Dickinson did not approach Higginson until 1862 to ask if her verse was "alive," his comment to Browning reflects the contexts in which "Mrs. Browning" became an empowering star on Dickinson's artistic horizon well before the publication of Aurora Leigh in November 1856. "For Poets," she had "Keats--and Mr and Mrs Browning," as she informed Higginson, and Paula Bennett is far from alone in identifying EBB as Dickinson's "Most beloved" and "chosen precursor" among women writers. (2) Studies of this transatlantic poetic relationship typically focus on Dickinson's deep engagement with Aurora Leigh and/or and the American poet's three elegies for "that Foreign Lady": especially "I think I was enchanted," representing the "Conversion of the Mind" that Dickinson experienced in encountering what she termed the "Titanic opera" of EBB's poetry. (3) Like teeming grapevines, however, the tendrils of affiliation intertwining Dickinson's poetry with EBB's grow in multiple directions. This essay explores unexamined connections between EBB's "Wine of Cyprus" and Dickinson's "I taste a liquor never brewed" (Fr207) in conjunction with the historical and cultural contexts that gave rise to these works. As I hope to show, these minor poems speak to the rich diversity of the lyric forms available to the two poets and the similar strategies they developed to transform one particularly masculine literary tradition.

Despite very notable differences in form, Dickinson's most famous "drinking poem" and EBB's "wine" poem exhibit some striking parallels in subject matter, metaphors, and motifs. In Dickinson's euphoric lyric as it appears in fascicle 12, the speaker rhapsodizes about an "Alcohol" "never brewed" from "Frankfort berries" ("Vats opon upon the Rhine" in the variant), describes herself as "Inebriate of air," and finally pictures herself as a "little Tippler / From Manzanilla come!"--or, in the often preferred variant ending, "Leaning against the--Sun--" (Fr207,11. 1-5, 15-16). "Wine of Cyprus" celebrates a similar state of ecstatic inebriation, in EBB's case resulting from a gift of Cyprian honey wine from the classical scholar Hugh Stuart Boyd. "Thank you my very dear friend!! I write to you drunk with Cyprus!" she wrote to Boyd in June 1844- Extolling the "ideal nectar" as suited to "gods or demigods" and potent enough to inspire her dog Flush to talk in "Greek or English" (though denounced as "exceedingly beastly" by her father), she fancifully conveyed her "own particular intoxication" (BC 9: 22, 77). In the same letter, she informed Boyd of progress on her 1844 collection: "I have passed the middle of my second volume--and I only hope that the critics may say of the rest that it smells of Greek wine" (p. 22). Thus, she hinted at her return gift, dedicated to the blind scholar who had studied Greek with her when she was shut out from the male preserve of a university classical education. In "Wine of Cyprus," she transforms Boyd's gift of honey wine into an expansive metaphor for the pleasure she had experienced in drinking deeply from the Greek poetical tradition.

While EBB clearly did sip at the "Cyprus," then, her "own particular intoxication" as she describes it to Boyd is more poetical than literal, like Dickinson's references to "Drunkenness" and tasting "Rum" in letters to Higginson and to "Alcohol" in "I taste a liquor" (Letters, no. 265; Fr205, 1. 4). Nevertheless, much as our mouths water for Christina Rossetti's exotic goblin fruit, both Dickinson's lyric and "Wine of Cyprus" evoke a desire for the "liquor" and "wine" they respectively celebrate with such sensuous gusto that our tongues long for a taste. Both are poems written by "honey-mad women," as Patricia Yaeger conceives of them: that is, women writers who "speak of their pleasure and find pleasure in speech" in writing suffused by "orality." (4) Moreover, both poems playfully feature a tiny "tippler," one compared to "old Bacchus" himself in the opening stanza of "Wine of Cyprus":
   If old Bacchus were the speaker
      He would tell you with a sigh,
   Of the Cyprus in this beaker
      I am sipping like a fly,--(5)

The "sipping" speaker is further compared to "a fly or gnat on Ida / At the hour of goblet-pledge," then displaced by figures of more gargantuan size, beginning with "queen Juno" whose "[f]ull white arm-sweep" almost knocks the fly off the table (11. 5-8). Indeed, a wine "so divine" demands "ampler" drinkers, the speaker declares:
   Cyclops' mouth might plunge aright in,
      While his one eye over-leered-
   Nor too large were mouth of Titan,
      Drinking rivers down his beard.

   Pan might dip his head so deep in,
      That his ears alone pricked out,

   Fauns around him, pressing, leaping,
      Each one pointing to his throat:

   While the Naiads, like Bacchantes,
      Wild, with urns thrown out to waste,

   Cry,--'O earth, that thou wouldst grant us
      Springs to keep, of such a taste!' (11. 9-10, 13-24)

While the Titans drink "rivers" and the fauns wordlessly point to their throats, the Bacchanalian "Naiads" are the ones who give full voice to their desire, crying for "[s]prings to keep, of such a taste!" In Dickinson's words in "A Drunkard cannot meet a Cork," "The moderate drinker of Delight / Does not deserve the Spring--" (Frl630,11. 7-8).

In the 1900 edition of EBB's works, Charlotte Porter and Helen Clarke termed "Wine of Cyprus" a "new kind of ode" (quoted in WEBB 2: 194). In its form, content, and allusions, however, it is an artful adaptation of a very old kind of ode: an Anacreontic ode or lyric (the two terms are often used interchangeably in such contexts). In other words, "Wine of Cyprus" belongs to the multilingual river of European poetry about wine, music, eros, and poetic inspiration arising from the wellhead of the legendary Greek lyric poet Anacreon. If first EBB, and then Dickinson cast themselves as "little tipplers," it is because they are also "lyric tipplers," though sipping from a cup we no longer recognize, in part because it was cast aside long ago, in part because both women poets refashion it to serve their own ends. As Marshall Brown observes, "the history of Anacreontic poetry is a rich and varied chapter in the biography of European civilization" but one that, "in Pierre Bourdieu's phrase," has been "'written out of literary history.'"(6) Anacreontic verse was "written out" of history after the majority of the odes formerly attributed to Anacreon were reattributed to later, inferior Greek writers. Most studies treat the Anacreontic tradition as a minor mode in early modern and eighteenth-century English and European poetry, with residual influence on English Romantic writers but little or no impact on nineteenth-century English and American writers. The 1974 edition of The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics is more dismissive, defining "Anacreontic" principally as a type of classical meter and noting that "charming but rather shallow pieces" were composed "in imitation of Anacreon" by "Renaissance and later European poets." (7)

We gain a better sense of still-prevailing views of Anacreontic verse in the year "Wine of Cyprus" was published if we consult the 1844 Webster's Diedonary that informed Dickinson's "lexicon." As a noun, "Anacreontic" is defined as "[a] poem composed in the manner of Anacreon," but the adjective gives a fuller indication of its extended meanings: "[pjertaining to Anacreon, a Greek poet, whose odes and epigrams are celebrated for their delicate, easy and graceful air, and for their exact imitation of nature"; the entry further notes that the term can signify the classical verse form associated with Anacreon. (8) Neither the 1844 Webster's nor the Princeton Encyclopedia addresses the long association between Anacreontics and drinking explored by Marty Roth in a tradition he, like others, constructs as overwhelmingly masculine. (9) But Webster's does capture the features that made Anacreontic verse more than merely poetry celebrating drinking and more than a "shallow" and trivial form. Indeed, Dickinson's lexicon defines the terms lyric and lyrical themselves in relation to poetry "sung to the harp or lyre," "cultivated" by "ancients" such as Anacreon and Sappho (Webster's Dictionary, 1844).

Such definitions point to the diversity of nineteenth-century lyric forms obscured by the generic constructions of modernist poetics and more recent gendered emphases on lyric as Sapphic. Cristanne Miller astutely demonstrates the "capacious" boundaries of nineteenth-century conceptions of lyric in her historicist approach to Dickinson's poetic practice yet nevertheless limits the traditions feeding into this "capacious" genre by associating lyric "in broad terms with Sappho and the feminine." (10) Yopie Prins's authoritative Victorian Sappho similarly emphasizes "the gendering of lyric as a feminine genre" hut is more nuanced than most studies in noting that both "male and female" Victorian poets "turned to Sappho to define their lyric vocation." (11) Similarly, I argue that female and male poets alike drew on the parallel lyric tradition associated with Anacreon in the nineteenth century, although Anacreon's star sank as Sappho's rose and women writers like EBB and Dickinson faced particular challenges in a tradition that became, in its more popularized forms, deeply associated with the proverbial "wine, women, and song." At the same time, as the 1844 Webster's implies, Sapphic and Anacreontic lyric traditions were less segregated by gender than old and new literary histories often imply. Sexualities also cross and mingle in Anacreontic as in Sapphic lyric because polymorphous eroticism in both traditions stimulates performative code-switching, as in EBB's representation of both a leering Cyclops and crying Naiads in "Wine of Cyprus." Since Anacreontic verse often features small creatures like EBB's sipping fly in dramatic role-playing, this lyric mode furthermore relates to the comic vein studied in Dickinson's poetry but less appreciated in EBB's, as well as the "erotics of smallness" that in Dickinson's case has been related to botany but not Greek poetry. (12)

Addressing the lack of attention to EBB, Dickinson, and their contemporaries in studies of the Anacreontic tradition, this essay presents evidence for its animating influence on both sides of the Atlantic up to the mid-nineteenth century. The first section recaps the history of European Anacreontic verse, emphasizing the long half-life of Anacreontic culture in Victorian England and touching on little-examined reasons for the tradition's demise in the late nineteenth century, when the homoeroticism associated with Anacreon's "boy love" was subjected to the policing of sexualities. The second section considers the changing representation of Anacreon in EBB's poetry, essays, letters, and translations: representations that provide a granular map of the legendary Greek's Victorian demotion even as they register the continuing appeal of a deeply rooted tradition. Read in these larger contexts, "Wine of Cyprus" emerges as a strategic intervention in debates about Anacreontics at a pivotal juncture in the tradition's trajectory. The third section turns to American manifestations of a lingering Anacreontic culture in the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, along with evidence for Dickinson's familiarity with this culture and at least one of EBB's poetical allusions to Anacreon. Critics have hitherto compellingly interpreted Dickinson's drinking poems within the American contexts of Emerson's writings and the temperance movement. Taking a longer and more transatlantic view, I analyze instead the parodic use of Anacreontic conventions, the gender politics, and the verbal echoes connecting both "I taste a liquor" and "I think I was enchanted" to EBB's "Wine of Cyprus" and hence to a lyric tradition extending back to the Greeks.

I. The Rise and Demise of Anacreontic Verse (with a Victorian Slant)

The Anacreontic tradition mingles in the springs that feed it with Dionysian rites, the "divine fury" of poetic inspiration, the symposium where wine and words flow, and the origins of lyric poetry as we now conceive it. Patricia Rosenmeyer traces the teeming references to Anacreon, the legendary sixth-century Greek poet from Teos, in classical texts and artifacts, analyzing the contradictions in these representations and the tradition associated with his name. Socrates's associate Critias describes Anacreon mixing wine with water to induce the moderated intoxication of lyric expression; others picture the lecherous and "drunken old man" later described by Ovid. Plato's Anacreon is "divinely inspired more by poetry than wine"; Antipater's Anacreon "delight[s] in the loud-voiced revels of Dionysus." As a symposium reveler or komast, Anacreon participates in the "ambiguity" of the "arch-komast Dionysius": a figure both "oriental and Greek, male and feminized, drunk yet deadly sober in Euripides' Bacchae." (13) The opening anarchic revelry by leering Cyclops and "Naiads, like Bacchantes," in "Wine of Cyprus" captures some of these contradictions: possibly because the Bacchae--among the Greek works EBB read with Boyd in 1831-1832--was on her mind again in 1842, given a "newly discovered scene" from the play (BC 5: 256, 284-285, 290).

Like Sappho, Anacreon is depicted holding the lyre and often coupled with her in classical sources, the later tradition, and editions of their poems as well as in Dickinson's 1844 Webster's. "There can scarcely be imagined a more delightful theme for the warmest speculations of fancy to wanton upon, than the idea of an intercourse between Anacreon and Sappho," Thomas Moore comments in his Odes of Anacreon (1800), reprinted on both sides of the Atlantic throughout the century. (14) While Moore's fancy "wanton[s]" on a heterosexual "intercourse," Anacreon, like Sappho, embodies a polymorphous desire that Moore himself artfully obscures. Like Horace and Ovid, many sources present the Teian as a "lover of boys," especially his beloved Bathyllus; according to Theocritus, a writer well known to EBB, Anacreon "took delight in young men." (15) As in Sappho's case too, Anacreon's biography is mythological, and his works (including hymns and satires) filling five volumes survive only in fragments, "mostly on erotic and symposiastic themes" (Rosenmeyer, pp. 22, 37). Leigh Hunt remarked of the story that Anacreon died "choking on a single grape pit" stuck in his "withered throat" that it was "a little too allegorical to be likely" (quoted in Roth, p. 329). Nevertheless, as Tom Mason observes, the "story of Anacreon" is "the history of a ghost-poet ... who did and did not exist but who had an enormous and lasting influence on European poetry." (16)

This influence persisted for three centuries after 1544, when the French classicist Henri Estienne (Henry Stephen in English) published the Carmina Anacreontea: sixty odes regarded as authentic works of Anacreon, accompanied by Stephen's Latin translations of them and works by Sappho, Pindar, and other Greek poets. Anacreontics spouted up in diverse European languages in part because they embodied a lyric spontaneity and desire not found in Pindar's more formally elaborate commissioned odes celebrating "shining goals," to use EBB's words in "Wine of Cyprus" (1. 94). For instance, Sir Philip Sidney, a friend of Stephen, tried "Anacrions kynde of verses," later "blush[ing]" on his deathbed "at even the most casual mention of his Anacreontics," according to debated accounts. (17) There were countless editions and translations of the odes that Stephen had published, in French, English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, German, Swedish, Polish, and Russian. (18) Les poesies dAnacreon et de Sappho (1681) by the celebrated classicist Anne Le Fevre (Madame Dacier) is among the few female contributions to the tradition. "Nowhere was Anacreon more popular than in England," Mason remarks, with translations by Thomas Stanley (1651), Abraham Cowley (1656), and John Addison (1735); "learned and laudatory editions"; and Anacreontics by writers from Edmund Spenser and Robert Herrick to the Romantics (Mason, p. 105). In Germany, where "anacreontic and lyric were synonymous," Goethe "led the charge in the transformation of Anacreontic into romantic lyric." (19) By 1800, when Moore presented a partial list of "editions and translations" of the Anacreontea, he found "their number to be much greater" than he "could possibly have had an opportunity of consulting" (p. xliii). By 1815, his own annotated paraphrases of the odes in the Vatican manuscript published by Stephen were in a ninth edition; by 1819, in Don Juan, Byron had dubbed him "Anacreon Moore." (20)

The popularity of Moore's Odes of Anacreon arose in part out of the Anacreontic Society, a London "Glee Club" established in 1780 that facilitated middle- and upper-class male bonding in a period when Anacreon was "one of the most widely represented classical authors" in the Gentleman's Magazine, as Stella Achilleos notes. (21) The "Sons of Anacreon" opened their meetings with the "Anacreontic Song," sung to the tune later used for the US national anthem: addressed "To Anacreon, in Heaven," the song petitions the "jolly old Grecian" to become their "inspirer and patron" and help them "entwine / The myrtle of Venus with Bacchus's vine." The imagery echoes an ode in the Anacrontea where, in Moore's lush translation, "vines luxuriant roll / Their blushing tendrils round the bowl," while "many a rose-lipped bacchant maid" culls "clusters in their shade" and "sylvan gods, in antic shapes / Wildly press the gushing grapes" (Ode IV, p. 58). James Gillray's 1801 caricature of carousing "Anacreontick's in full Song" (figure 1) suggests that the Sons of Anacreon sometimes became a little too entwined with "Bacchus's vine." (22) The music and poetry were as important as the drink, however; so too was the "myrtle of Venus"--often charged with nostalgia, given traditional representations of an aged Anacreon. "[A]s years on years depart," only "Anacreon" has "the soul to tie an / Unwithering myrtle round the unblunted dart / Of Eros," Byron observes in Don Juan (canto 16, sec. 109,11. 4-7).


The Anacreontic "becomes more shadowy in the romantic period," as Brown observes, although Byron and Coleridge wrote Anacreontics and the language of Keats's odes--a poet beloved by EBB as well as Dickinson--is "heavily" suggestive of "the rhetoric of Anacreon." (23) As Judith Thompson's discoveries reveal, John Thelwall also wrote numerous Anacreontics. (24) Nonetheless, the mode's increasingly "shadowy" presence is suggested by Anya Taylor's attribution of the "poetic and philosophical" focus on drinking in Keats and Coleridge to "an old English tradition" of "drinking songs" in "the manner of Herrick or Cowley," not the Anacreontic tradition that suffuses these songs. (25) At the same time, Taylor implicitly affirms the classical tradition's persistence in observing that, for Coleridge and Keats, "Bacchus was not just a drinking god" but, in Coleridge's words, a figure for the "organic energies of the universe" (p. 223). The words might equally apply to Bacchus as he appears in Keats's "Ode on a Nightingale" or EBB's "Wine of Cyprus" (which parallels Keats's image of a "beaker" of the "warm south" in its opening lines). Roth argues that Romantic poets "turned against the anacreontic" because "it was lacking in 'real' passion" (p. 333); in contrast, Brown argues, much as Taylor does though on different grounds, for the tradition's continuing influence on "romantic lyric" because passion is not "extinguished" in Anacreontic conventionalities but rather "repressed, and in repression it continue[s] to ferment" (p. 395). Brown's view accords with the suppressed eroticism I address below in "Wine of Cyprus."

The Anacreontic tradition "continued to ferment" in multiple other ways in Britain into the early Victorian period. In 1831, the young Tennyson published a poem titled "Anacreontics" in the Gem, an 1831 annual. Though slight, the poem is intriguing both because it points to Anacreontic verse as a possible influence on his "lady" or "early girly" poems (it addresses a "Lenora") and because it includes lines that later appear in heavily revised form in "The Lady of Shalott." (26) From 1822 to 1835, in Blackwood's, the entertaining Noctes Ambrosianae series of colloquies constituted a sophisticated form of virtual Anacreontic Club. Featuring John Wilson ("Christopher North"), William Maginn, James Hogg, and other writers, the Noctes delivered penetrating literary criticism, pungent political satire, songs, and dramatic sketches in the setting of a "snuggery." The lively conversation of the male participants is filled with references to drinking and on occasion to Anacreon: they pass the jug or the Glenlivet, they tipple, and they discuss the relation of "national characters" to national drink (Maga, i.e., Blackwood's, punch drinkers are superior to "inhabitants of wine countries"). (27) The Noctae in Blackwood's are delightfully replicated in the "Nights" series set in "Bravey's Inn" in the miniature imitations of the periodical produced by the Bronte children in 1829, edited by Patrick Branwell Bronte and then by "the Genius C.B." (28) The Anacreontic flavor (or "smell," to use EBB's term) of the Noctae helps to explain the copious drinking metaphors in the Bronte juvenilia, later tragically literalized by Branwell. The over-the-top Anacreontic drinking discourse pervading the Noctae is also evident in Robert Browning's trio of dramatic lyrics, "Nationality in Drinks": the first two parts, published in Hood's Magazine in 1844, contrasting the sinking effects of French, feminized claret with the fortifying sweet, strong Hungarian Tokay. EBB was not greatly impressed with what she referred to as Browning's "wine song," finding it "inferior" to other poems he published in Hood's (BC 10: 311, 316). In Dramatic Romances and Lyrics (1845), Browning added a patriotic third song, featuring a sailor toasting "Nelson's memory!" with "British Beer." (29)

Browning's jokey tone in "Nationality in Drinks" reflects the demotion of Anacreontics as the tradition lost its classical sheen. As I note in analyzing "Wine of Cyprus" in section two, his discussion of the poem with EBB indicates that both poets saw the Anacreontea as a compilation of later Greek texts, not the works Moore had pronounced "the most polished remains of antiquity" (p. xxx). "As soon as the Anacreontea were discovered to be spurious they were despised," Mason observes, and "the reputation of both the true and false Anacreon declined" (p. 107). The decline was less dramatic and more uneven than he suggests, however. While a "turning point" did occur "in the mid-1800s," as Rosenmeyer notes, some scholars had long been skeptical about the Anacreontea (pp. 7-8). Nostalgia for Anacreontic verse also persisted. In 1893, in Anacreon: With Thomas Stanley's Translation, A. H. Bullen remarks, "Since the days of Byron and Moore, our English poets--poets in a genuine sense, not mere versifiers--have left Anacreon severely alone." Yet the introduction to his illustrated edition is pervaded by fond memories of the fading tradition; he also wistfully notes, "In France the A nacreontea still keep their popularity." (30)

An 1896 erotic caricature by Aubrey Beardsley of "Bathyllus" (figure 2) suggests another reason why some poets in the 1890s left Anacreon "severely alone." English translations had disguised Anacreon's boy-love; Moore passed over his "amours ... in silence" (p. xx). Yet in a period when homosexuality was criminalized and when, as Christopher Reed notes, the "languorous male nudes" termed "Anacreontic figures" in eighteenth-century art had completely disappeared, silence may have been harder to maintain. (31) Despite lingering scholarly respect for the Anacreontea, as in Judson France Davidson's 1912 edition, it is telling to encounter four Stanley translations of "Anacreon" in a 1921 anthology of Poetica Erotica. (32) Stanley's "The Vintage" makes clear that the ode is less about the lyre than lust in countenancing under the influence of Bacchus coercion of "[h]er who seemingly refrains" by "He" who "by pleasing force constrains." But even Stanley's "generally faithful translations of the Anacreontea expurgatefd] most of the homosexual content." (33) As Poetic Erotica suggests, Anacreontics lingered after 1900 in popular and pornographic contexts; by 1974, when they were dismissed as "shallow" in the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, the tradition had largely disappeared. Janet Levarie observed in her 1973 study of "Renaissance Anacreontics," "few people seem ... to know quite what is meant by an anacreontic poem" (p. 221). Classicists like Rosenmeyer have since defended the "complex poetics of imitation" in the Anacreontea (p. 8), and scholars have explored early modern and eighteenth-century Anacreontics; but Roth's comment in 2000 that "little ... critical thought" has been given to the tradition remains true in 2016 (p. 316).


II. EBB's Anacreon Translations and Anacreontic Debates in "Wine of Cyprus"

The historical erasure of the Anacreontic tradition, combined with assumptions about its masculinity, may explain Porter and Clarke's failure to recognize the genre of "Wine of Cyprus" in 1900 and the absence of EBB along with Dickinson in Anacreontic scholarship since. Despite occasional references to Madame Dacier and Anne Finch, studies focus on male writers under such rubrics as "wine, women (boys) and song" (Mason, p. 105), "all-male gatherings" (Roth, p. 318), or "male bonding" (Achilleos, p. 24). In EBB's case, moreover, the decline of Anacreontic verse converges with the cultural forgetting from 1900 to 1970 that transformed her from an internationally influential woman poet into the "madwoman in the basement" of the "mansion of literature" eating "peas" on her "knife," the "handmaid" of Browning's genius, or a "lost saint." (34) Renewed attention to her poetry has brought deeper appreciation of her engagement with classical literature, but scholars have understandably focused on Homer and Aeschylus, given the epic conventions informing the generic hybridity of her verse-novel Aurora Leigh and the admiration of Aeschylus reflected in her two translations of Prometheus Bound. (35) While EBB did produce several translations of odes attributed Anacreon, most of these were unpublished, misattributed, or miscataloged up until the publication of the 2010 Pickering and Chatto Works, apart from the "Paraphrase on Anacreon: Ode to the Swallow," published posthumously in Last Poems (1862).

Three of EBB's translations are Greek exercises dating from 1821: "Fain would I sing," contrasting Homer with Anacreon; " 'Anacreon,' the ladies say, / 'Thou growest old'" (WEBB, 5: 359,11. 1-2); and "Nature gave horns to bulls," in which woman is given "beauty" and man is given "wisdom"--in Moore's paraphrase "a thinking mind" (p. 136), in EBB's an "upright soul" (11. 7, 8). One wonders what the ambitious adolescent thought of "Natureps]" division? In "Fragment of 'An Essay on Woman' " (c. 1822), written under the influence of Mary Wollstonecraft, she scorns the prizing of woman's beauty by "Imperious Man" and invokes Madame Dacier and other learned women to vindicate female "eloquence" (WEBB, 5: 418,11. 35, 57-60). Nevertheless, in her youth, EBB held the common view of Anacreon as a lyric poet noted for his "graceful air" and "imitation of nature," to cite Dickinson's 1844 Webster's again (in which the entry on Anacreontic is unchanged from the 1828 edition). In notes (c. 1822) critiquing John Locke's arguments for the materiality of the spirit, EBB remarks that even Anacreon, "though he be a Poet of the senses" whose "sweet toned lyre murmurs" of Nature's "gifts," does not hold Locke's opinion (W EBB 5: 421). Later letters to Boyd in 1827-28 are sprinkled with Anacreon allusions: his expression of furor poeticus, "I desire, I desire to be mad" (BC 2: 92); the ekphrastic ode on the painting of his dark-haired mistress (p. 103), also echoed in a draft of "To E.W.C. Painting My Picture" (1838, WEBB 5: 537); and "The black earth drinks," which EBB suggests as the original of Shelley's "Love's Philosophy" (BC 2:152). In 1842, she also praised Cowley's "paraphrases of Anacreon" as "absolutely the most perfect of any English composition of their order" in "The Book of the Poets" (WEBB, 4: 469)--her "erudite, lithe-minded" essay on English literary history notable for its "epigrammatic" style, as Herbert F. Tucker demonstrates. (36)

EBB probably had Cowley's "paraphrases" in mind when she did some of her own for a projected "Classical album" edited by Ann Thomson (BC 10: 397-398). Sending Thomson ten lines from Anacreon's "A Vintage-Song" in 1846, EBB remarked of another writer's translation that it did not "please" her because it did not "smell of Anacreon"--using the "smell" metaphor she applied to "Wine of Cyprus" and also repeatedly applies to Anacreontics (BC 12: 170). She kept the "smell" discreet in her partial paraphrase of "The Vintage"; unlike Stanley's, her translation does not describe the use of "pleasing" force. Eleven of EBB's Anacreontic paraphrases were subsequently published as Browning's on the basis of transcriptions he made in preparing her Last Poems, a circumstance that similarly led to the long misattribution of her monodrama on Aeschylus, described by one scholar as "steadily excellent," "the best" of Browning's unpublished dramatic monologues (WEBB 5: 651). Her paraphrases for the classical album included favorites like Anacreon's odes on "The Grasshopper" and the "drinking earth," as well as lines on Bathyllus and Bacchus. Another of these translations, "If the leaves of every tree"--in which the speaker "counts" his scores of female "loves"--was miscataloged until 2010 as her original composition (WEBB 5: 687, 11. 6, 13). A similar misattribution occurred with her translations of thirty-six poems by Goethe (c. 1839), including "Anacreon's Grave." Since her paraphrase of "If the leaves" with its masculine counting motif dates from the same period as Sonnets from the Portuguese, the Anacreontic forms an intriguing countertext to "Let me count the ways" in her most famous sonnet.

EBB's translations and letters thus indicate that she was well versed in the forms, conventions, and connotations of Anacreontic poetry, as she signals throughout "Wine of Cyprus," quite apart from her opening invocation of Bacchus. First, she employs the tripping trochaic seven- or eight-syllable line approximating Greek Anacreontic meter in English, freely varying it as in the spondees announcing Juno's "[f]ull white arm-sweep"--presented from the alarmed fly's vantage point (WEBB 2:1.8). She echoes too the seventeenth-century lyric by William Oldys, "The Fly. An Anacreontick," in introducing the first of the small creatures in her poem. (37) Anacreon is also the first Greek poet she mentions in the poem, in alluding to the turtledove that carries messages to his lovers and drinks from his cup: quite a pleasant gig, the dove explains to a stranger in the ode in question in the Anacreontea (Ode XV in Moore). (38) In "Wine of Cyprus," the speaker initially insists that she is "not worthy / After gods and Greeks to drink" the Cyprian wine, describing herself as "sad-voiced as the turtle / Which Anacreon used to feed," then asserts her right to "demurely / Wet her beak in cup of his" (WEBB 2: 198,11. 25-26, 4346). Moore's paraphrase conveys what EBB's "demurely" disguises, as the dove says: "From Anacreon's hand I eat /... Sip the foamy wine with him / Then I dance and wanton round / To the lyre's beguiling sound" (p. 95). "Wine of Cyprus" features no dancing, but the speaker's repeated "sipping" (1. 59) has its usual effects in Anacreontic scenes from the classical symposium to Ben Jonson's tavern to Sons of Anacreon societies to the Nodes Ambrosianae series in Blackwood's. Words, memories, and inspiration begin to flow. The speaker declares, "let others praise the Chian" (associated with Flomer) and lauds the Cyprus wine as "soft as Muse's string" and "[bjright as Paphia's eyes" (11. 49-50, 53). "[T]imes and places / Change," and she tells her male addressee,
   As Ulysses' old libation
     Drew the ghosts from every part,
   So your Cyprus wine, dear Grecian,
     Stirs the Hades of my heart. (11. 59-64)

The Ulyssean metaphor, like the earlier introduction of "queen Juno" and Cyclops, suggests how EBB is simultaneously deploying the Anacreontic mode and underscoring its limits, since the "restricted scope" of its dolce vita typically excludes the heroic world of myth, epic, and tragic poetry (Rosenmeyer, pp. 51, 114). "Can I answer the old thinkers / In the forms they thought of, now?" she asks Boyd of the "antique drinkers" early in the poem (WEBB 2: 11. 35-36). She discussed the same question with Browning in 1846, calling for "new forms," not the "antique moulds" (BC 10: 135). Like "Lady Geraldine's Courtship" (the prototype of Aurora Leigh), "Wine of Cyprus" takes a generically hybrid "new" form, although the former 1844 poem is subtitled "A Romance of the Age," and the latter turns back to the Greeks. But just as in Aurora Leigh, Aurora writes an epic of the present age embodying a "double vision" of past and present-"Spare the old bottles!--spill not the new wine" (WEBB 3: bk. 1,1. 1002)--so in "Wine of Cyprus," EBB acknowledges the depth of even the "antique mould" of light Anacreontic verse. This double vision speaks to the complexity of a lyric mode that scholars still dispute: while some argue that it "banishes thoughts of trouble or death" (Levarie, p. 225), others contend that in Anacreon's lyrics, as in Keats's odes, "happiness is made quick and sharp by ... the certainty and imminence of death" (Mason, p. 111). "Wine of Cyprus" supports the more complex view in referencing the "silence at the tombs" (WEBB 2:1. 32). Moreover, as EBB's "Hades" and "Paphia" allusions imply, drinking arouses both remembered conflicts and erotic passions, another reason why her tribute to Boyd may turn to the repressive artifice of the Anacreontic mode. EBB read Greek with Boyd in her twenties, when her attraction to the blind but "rather young looking," handsome, and married scholar stirred up desires recorded in her 1831-1832 Diary, along with their intellectual wrangling (BC 2: 118). (39) Memories of this obliquely eroticized joint reading experience suffuse her representation of Boyd as a masculine mentor and suggest one reason why "Wine of Cyprus" aroused "unutterable desires" in turn in Browning.

Oedipus evokes particularly poignant memories, as EBB recalls how "the reader's voice dropped lower / When the poet called him blind," then apostrophizes Boyd as her "gossip," in the older senses of intimate friend and/or sponsor:
   Ah, my gossip! you were older,
      And more learned, and a man!--
   Yet that shadow, the enfolder
      Of your quiet eyelids, ran
   Both our spirits to one level,
      And I turned from hill and lea
   And the summer-sun's green revel,
      To your eyes that could not see. (WEBB 2:11. 151-160)

The most extended interpretations of "Wine of Cyprus" approach it biographically in relation to this passage on Boyd's blindness, disability theory, the poem's power dynamics, and parallels between Boyd and Aurora's blinded lover, Romney, in Aurora Leigh. (40) This approach yields important insights but overlooks EBB's genuine tribute to Boyd, her allusive literary wit, and her innovative adaptation of an Anacreontic form that itself embodies debates with her "gossip" about his beloved Greek Christian poets.

These debates are embedded in EBB's evocations of the Greek writers she read with Boyd, beginning with "our /Eschylus, the thunderous!" (1. 81). The "our" is repeated in her praise of "our Socrates, the royal," "[o]ur Euripides, the human," "[o]ur Theocritus, our Bion, / And our Pinda[r]": all "cup-bears undying / Of the wine that's meant for souls" (11. 85, 89, 93-96). She next pays tribute to "my Plato, the divine one, / If men know the gods aright," the pronoun shift possibly marking her differences with Boyd regarding Plato's anticipation of Christianity, then turns to "your noble Christian bishops, / Who mouthed grandly the last Greek" (11. 97-98, 101-102). Since Boyd is identified in the poem's subtitle as "Author of 'Select Passages from the Greek Fathers,'" the "your" acknowledges his scholarship. Yet it also signals their differing valuations of these poets. Of Chrysostom and Basil, she says, "you praised" or "you upraised" them; of others (Heliodorus, Synesius, Gregory of Nazianzen), "we both praised [them]" (11. 105, 107, 117). Collectively, though, she characterizes the poetical "wine" of the "bishops" as "weak" (1. 104), in recalling, "we sometimes gently wrangled" as "I charged you with extortions / On the nobler fames of old" (11. 129, 133-134). Reasserting her own tastes, she returns to the strong wine of the dramatists and calls up memories of the "mystic moaning" of "Cassandra" with "wild eyes the vision shone in," Prometheus "bound ... / By brute Force to the blind stone," and Medea "burning / At her nature's planted stake" (11. 137-139, 141-142, 145-146).

If one approaches "Wine of Cyprus" in light of EBB's 1842 Athenaeum essay, "Some Account of the Greek Christian Poets," her debates with Boyd and her historically nuanced understanding of Anacreontics become even more apparent. The essay deploys what Karen Dieleman identifies as a satirical "Second Sophistic" style--mixing "stand-up scholar and cultural entertainer"--to dissect the poetical dullness of the Greek Christian fathers Boyd admired. (41) These fathers "do not, in fact, reach with their highest lifted hand, the lowest foot of those whom the world has honored as Greek poets," the essay asserts (WEBB 4: 369). As it also indicates, several of these Christian fathers wrote Anacreontics (usually hymns). Moore earlier denounced these religious Anacreontics as "mutilations" threatening to destroy the "treasures of antiquity" (p. xxxv). EBB--whose valuation of Moore himself dropped by the 1840s--is more discriminating (BC 3: 96, 5: 89). She condemns the "musty odour" as opposed to "true anacreontic fragrance" of works by some Greek Christian poets--Maximus Margunius and John Damascenus (WEBB 4: 411)--but commends the "nobly written" Anacreontics of Nazianzen with their "satirical humour" (p. 380). In contrast, the odes of Synesius lack the "smell of Anacreon" but have a "holier" fragrance than "the attar of a thousand rose trees whose roots are in Teos" (p. 387). Her essay implies that she chose a modified Anacreontic form for "Wine of Cyprus" not only because it suited the subject matter and addressee but also because it subtly registered her friendly wrangling with Boyd regarding his bishops' Anacreontics. The formal debates extend to the poem's use of "different vowels[s]" in its double rhymes (as in "remember" and "chamber"; WEBB 2:11. 165, 167): "incorrectnesses" in Boyd's eyes that she defended based on "much thoughtful study of the Elizabeth writers," saying that, if she dealt "too much in licenses," it was because she was "speculative for freedom's sake" (BC 9: 96-97). Such rhyming "licenses" later directly influenced Dickinson's slant rhymes.

Was Dickinson also alert to the ways in which EBB's allusions to Anacreon in "Wine of Cyprus" reflected the mid-nineteenth-century revaluation of most of the lyrics attributed to him? This is more difficult to say, as my analysis of Dickinson's drinking poems in the final section indicates. However, readers familiar with classical literature and debates about it would more certainly have recognized signs of the demotion of Anacreon in EBB's poetry. Revealingly, despite referencing Anacreon first in "Wine of Cyprus" and introducing multiple Anacreontic motifs, EBB does not include him among the Greek poets she praises. Similarly, in her 1844 poem "A Vision of Poets," Anacreon is not among the immortal European "king-poets" that the Keatsian poet-protagonist sees in a vision manifesting his poetic aspiration--though Sappho is among this visionary company, alone of all her sex (WEBB 1:11. 728, 318-321). "Anacreon" appears only when the protagonist encounters a group of pretender poets, including a sour-humored, aged man who imitates the Greek lyricist with "unnatural jollities" (11. 635-636). In both poems, EBB is thus signaling the inauthentic nature of the Anacrontea before it was widely exposed--knowledge that Browning shared with her in joking about "Wine of Cyprus" and "the Teian (if he wasn't a Byzantine Monk, alas!)" (BC 10: 141)

EBB's correspondence with Browning and Boyd about "Wine of Cyprus" also underscores her keen awareness that sipping or drinking lustily from an Anacreontic cup entailed trespass on a particularly masculine subdomain of poetry. Not surprisingly, in W. S. Gilbert's later 1884 libretto for Princess Ida, students in Tennyson's women's university are urged to read Anacreon and Ovid but advised to "get them Bowderlized." (42) Such advice reflects the long association of Anacreontics with male seduction and drinking that we see in Boyd's account to EBB of a "lady who gave her heart in exchange for a vial of Cyprus wine" (BC 9: 239). Browning focuses less on ladies drinking than on male drinking in combining an allusion to "Wine of Cyprus" with a clarification to EBB "on the subject of wine," explaining that he himself does not drink it "habitually ... but every now and then, of course--" (BC 12: 65-66). These wine-related exchanges with Boyd and Browning both involve an allusion to Jonson's "Drink to me only with thine eyes," that "fine Anacreontic," as EBB's literary friend Mary Russell Mitford described it in narrating the "discrepancy" arising from hearing a hymn sung to the same tune. (43) The masculine connotations of Anacreontics indicate why, shortly after publishing Poems (1844), EBB told a lady correspondent that "passive" reading after the "active life in writing" was like "drinking water after wine," then quipped that her "Anacreontic figure" might not "redound to [her] respectability" (BC 9: 130-131). (44) Here the "Anacreontic figure" conveys a risk to feminine respectability that EBB willingly takes because the wine signifies the "life of writing" for her, much as liquor later signifies the life of the imagination in Dickinson's "I taste a liquor." The close of "Wine of Cyprus" affirms its female speaker's claim to the "active" creativity of reading Greek, speaking, and writing. Returning to the "drinking / Of this Cyprus" so sensuously conveyed in the poem's opening, the speaker declares of the "memories" (WEBB 2:11. 169-171) of Greek literature she has poetically presented,
   And whoever be the speaker,
      None can murmur with a sigh,
   That, in drinking from that beaker,
      I am sipping like a fly. (11. 169-171, 173-176)

Her words remind us of her opening invocation of Bacchus, reference poetry and not wine ("that beaker"), and challenge any other speaker to "murmur" that her drinking of Greek poetry--or evoking its power in her own poetry--is mere "sipping like a fly."

Nineteenth-century readers and reviewers clearly recognized the Anacreontic "smell" of "Wine of Cyprus" yet did not "murmur" against "Miss Barrett's" knowledge of Greek (BC 10: 370) or her deployment of a form sometimes associated with "voluptuousness," to use Samuel Johnson's term for Cowley's Anacreontics (Roth, p. 332). In Ireland, Samuel Ferguson compared it to "Moore's beautiful 'Take hence the bowl'" and said he drew "the greatest amount of pleasure" from it among all of her 1844 collection (BC 10: 370); Thomas Noon Talfourd similarly declared it "one of his especial favourites" (BC 9: 156). Its "profound" effects on Browning are further suggested by the epigraph from the poem he used for Balaustion's Adventure (1871). In America, Evert A. Duyckinck remarked that the "severe discipline" of its author's classical learning did "not stand in the way of her womanly nature," but "elevate[d]" it (BC 10: 336); another reviewer termed it "Keats-like" in combining "Greek life and imagery and passion" with "the canvas of an English heart" (BC 11: 342, 338). Even William Stigand, whose 1861 attack on Aurora Leigh in the Edinburgh Review is often quoted (inaccurately) as representative of Victorian critical opinion, found "Wine of Cyprus" one of the "prettiest lyrics" written by "Mrs. Browning"-possibly because she here reveals her learning in a tribute to a male mentor and references her "girlish voice" (WEBB 2: 195; 1. 71). She thereby assumes the pose of youthful, feminine submissiveness featured in one Victorian illustration (figure 3) but subverted by the poem's sophisticated intervention into debates about Anacreontics. (45) Christina Rossetti was an exception among nineteenth-century readers in registering her resistance to "Wine of Cyprus." In "The Lowest Room," titled "A Fight over the Body of Homer" and dated 1856 in manuscript, Rossetti critiques the strong "wine" (1. 29) of Homeric poetry in terms reminiscent of "Wine of Cyprus," but what most unsettled her was the poem's appetite for muscular, Homeric poetic ambition and taste for pagan wine. (46) Dickinson, characterized by Amy Lowell as a "pagan poet shut up in the cage of a narrow provincial Puritanism," had no such qualms about poems with the "smell of Anacreon" lauding the strong "wine" of Greek poetry. (47)
Fig. 3. From Elizabeth Barrett Browning, "Wine of Cyprus," in The
Poets of the Nineteenth Century.



   If old Bacchus were the speaker,
   He would tell you, with a sigh,
   Of the Cyprus in this beaker
   I am sipping like a fly,-Like
   a fly or gnat on Ida
   At the hour of goblet-pledge,
   By queen Juno brushed aside, a
   Full white arm-sweep, from the edge.

III. American Anacreontic Discourse, Dickinson's "I taste a liquor," and "Wine of Cyprus"

While "Wine of Cyprus," EBB's translations, and her satire of Greek Christian Anacreontics reflect her direct knowledge of a classical tradition still considered elevated by many people in the 1840s, Dickinson's drinking poems reflect a more diffused cultural awareness as the tradition was declining in influence. Dickinson did not directly intervene in debates about Anacreon as EBB did. She seems, however, to have taken note of the passage in "A Vision of Poets" in which her English precursor places "Anacreon" among the pretender poets, since it has a pencil line beside it in the American edition of EBB's Poems that Dickinson had access to, beginning in January 1853. (48) Dickinson critics have noted her echoes of "A Vision of Poets" but not this marked passage. Instead, they emphasize connections between EBB's tribute to Keats, "[w]ho died for Beauty, as martyrs do / For Truth" (11. 290-291), and Dickinson's "I died for Beauty" (Fr448); or they more generally observe, like Alfred Habegger, that "A Vision of Poets" "seems to have played a vital role" for Dickinson as she "moved toward a deeper understanding of herself and her vocation in 1853-1854" (49) Whatever the mark beside the Anacreon passage in "A Vision of Poets" implies, it is highly likely that Dickinson was familiar with a poetical tradition elsewhere reflected in the entries on Anacreontic and Lyric in her 1844 Web ster's, in multiple American editions of Moore's Odes of Anacreon, and in the writings of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Edgar Allan Poe.

"From Saxon lips Anacreon's numbers glide, / As once they melted on the Teian tide," Holmes writes in "Poetry: A Metrical Essay" (1836), collected in Poems, in two editions in the Dickinson family library. In another poem, "Sentiment," on the "burning wine" of "Friendship," "the vine-wreathed bowl" is "[wjarm with the sunshine of Anacreon's soul," yet "memories" and the "heart's current" also lend "the cup its glow," much as in "Wine of Cyprus" the "beaker" of Cyprian wine is charged with the "heart's current" of the speaker's memories of Boyd's friendship. (50) In Spirits of America, Nicholas O. Warner attributes the drinking discourses he explores to "British romanticism" and a "tradition ... of the Dionysiacally inspired poet," making only passing reference to Anacreontics, all before 1820: the 1794 patriotic song "Anacreontic to Flip," the adoption of the tune of "To Anacreon, in Heaven" for "The Star-Spangled Banner," and an "unabashedly anacreontic" drinking song that Emerson "wrote for his freshman class supper at Harvard" in 1818. (51) Yet along with Holmes, other writers testify to the Anacreontic tradition informing the Dionysian Romanticism that Warner describes, contrary to Roth's comment that "almost no anacreontic poetry was produced in the United States" (p. 339 n41).

Most notably, Thoreau translated ten odes from the Anacreontea, publishing them in 1843 in the Dial, prefaced by a brief essay on the "Teian poet," and later including them in A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849). (52) Thoreau presents Anacreon's odes as "gems of pure ivory," contending that "they are not gross, as has been presumed, but always elevated above the sensual" (pp. 357-58), much as Moore had earlier defended them as "sportive without being wanton" (p. xxxii).

Thoreau's defensiveness seems unrelated to questions about the attribution of the odes, since unlike the Brownings, he still seems to assume their authenticity in 1843. More probably, it arises from the "sensual" Anacreontic culture evident in Emerson's Harvard drinking song and Poe's similar recollection of his days as "an idle boy" who "read Anacreon, and drank wine"--though Poe also echoed the Anacreontea in "The Raven" and praised as "very respectable" a poem titled "Anacreontic" by Rufus Dawes in an otherwise largely negative review. (53) The association of Anacreontics with Emerson's and Poe's youthful drinking, like Holmes's Anacreontics for college occasions, indicates their role in "embodied communities" like the Amherst College students Dickinson mingled with--especially before the 1850 religious revival brought the college president's denunciation, "better that the college should go down, than that young men should come here to be ruined by drink places," and the local "Cold Water Army," with Edward Dickinson a leading militant, closed the local "rum resorts" (Habegger, p. 241), (54)

Both the temperance movement and Emerson's complex discourse on intoxication have figured prominently in interpretations of Dickinson's "I taste a liquor" and "more than fifty" other poems featuring drinking metaphors (Warner, p. 56). David S. Reynolds reads "I taste a liquor" and "We--Bee and I--live by quaffing--" (Fr244) as "creative toying" with didactic temperance works like Timothy Shay's Ten Nights in a Bar-room (1854), in which the drunken Joe renounces his "drams" as the "butterflies" in "I taste a liquor" do; Domnhall Mitchell similarly analyzes the class politics of Dickinson's drinking poems in relation to temperance politics. (55) The period's temperance valentines (like "A Swell Head" mocking the idea that its sender could "ever think, to wed" a "drunken" man with a head like "a ripe pumpkin") support such readings, given Dickinson's delight in sending humorous valentines. (56) Among Emersonian contexts for "I taste a liquor," critics have documented "the unmistakable resemblance" to his "Bacchus," beginning, "Bring me wine, but wine which never grew / In the belly of the grape," and to Emerson's 1844 essay "The Poet," addressing the love of "bards" for "wine, mead, narcotics, ... [and] other species of animal exhilaration" but urging them to drink "God's wine" of poetry (Capps, p. 114). Dickinson's "inebriate of Air" and "Debauchee of Dew" clearly parallel Emerson's call in "Bacchus" not for "diluted wine" but for "true" wine, "everlasting dew" (11. 13-14, 17) and his assertions in "The Poet" that "air should suffice" for the poet's "inspiration"--"he should be tipsy with water" and intoxicated by "the imagination." (57) At the same time, Karl Keller's characterization of Emerson's "drunk-divine" poet as "standard Romantic," like Warner's emphasis on similar contexts for Dickinson's drinking poems, obscures how this figure was shaped by a preexisting Anacreontic tradition. (58)

The echoes of Emerson's "The Poet" and "Bacchus" in "I taste a liquor" are suggestive, but so too are the contexts and echoes pointing to the influence of "Wine of Cyprus" and the Anacreontic culture that Emerson himself experienced in his youth. If Emerson celebrates "God's wine of poetry" in "The Poet," EBB represents poetry as the "wine that's meant for souls" in "Wine of Cyprus" (1. 96). Moreover, as Keller acknowledges, Dickinson "never discussed Emerson, his ideas or works, with anyone"; in contrast, her expressions of interest in "George Eliot, Emily Bronte, Helen Jackson, and Mrs. Browning" were "ardent" (p. 151). "Wine of Cyprus" also appears in the Francis edition of EBB's works used by Dickinson, along with other 1844 works by EBB reprinted (and sometimes revised) in her expanded 1850s Chapman and Hall editions of Poems, freely pirated in America. (59) Although no passages in "Wine of Cyprus" are marked as the passage in "A Vision of Poets" about Anacreon is, neither are many of the passages that Dickinson echoes visibly noted in her copy of Aurora Leigh. (60) "Wine of Cyprus" also remained a popular work in 1861, when "I taste a liquor" was published in the Springfield Republican. For instance, Kate Field cites two stanzas from it in the opening pages of her 1861 Atlantic Monthly obituary essay on EBB, which "deeply marked" Dickinson's elegies on the English poet, as Alison Chapman notes. (61)

More importantly, "I taste a liquor" shares Anacreontic features with "Wine of Cyprus" that are not found in Emerson's "Bacchus," like the "taste" images that elsewhere recur in Dickinson's "A Drunkard cannot meet a Cork." As critics note, Emerson's "Bacchus" reflects his "transcendental" vision, whereas "I taste a liquor" is a poem expressing "immanence" and puissance (Bennett, pp. 109, 181); in Warner's terms, Dickinson is a "sensualist of the imagination" (p. 50). A similar sensuality appears in EBB's presentation of a feminine speaker like Anacreon's dove, "Wet[ting] her beak in cup of his" (WEBB 2: 198,1. 45). Emerson's "Bacchus" is also formally and thematically a "hymn," as Bernard J. Paris observes. (62) As such, it lacks the light lyricism of Anacreontics: whether deliberately, as an invocation of a more authentic Anacreon than conventional imitative Anacreontics, or because, despite being an essayist of genius, Emerson lacked the "musical faculty," making him only the "torso of a poet," as EBB remarked (BC 19: 100). In contrast, "Wine of Cyprus" and "I taste a liquor" are whimsically ludic poems, with the tripping tetrameter pace of English Anacreontics.

The ludic qualities of the two poems are manifested not only in the rhythm and license with rhymes (libation/Grecian, Pearl/Alcohol) but also in their comic excess and diminutive performers. If EBB coyly invokes Bacchus and juxtaposes tiny sippers with "Titan" drinkers, Dickinson mixes cosmic with coy images, as the "little Tippler" is translated to the skies of "Seraphs" and "Saints," "[I]eaning against the--Sun" (Fr207, 11. 13-16). In both poems, the resemblance of these tiny sippers to the small creatures of Anacreontic verse--"doves, swallows, bees, grasshoppers"--has gone unexplored, despite much attention to Dickinson's representations of flies, gnats, small birds, bees, and grasshoppers (Roth, p. 332). The "gnat" in "It would have starved a gnat" does not have the "privilege to fly / And seek a Dinner" (Fr444,11. 9-11) like the "fly or gnat" on Juno's goblet in "Wine of Cyprus" (WEBB 2: 197.1. 5). EBB's "sipping fly," echoing Oldys's "[b]usy, curious, thirsty Fly," (Oldys, p. 153) suggests why a "Fly" can "stir" "Jamaicas of Remembrance" in "A Drunkard cannot meet a Cork" (Frl630, 11. 3, 5). The Anacreontic associations of the "drunken bee" in "I taste a liquor" are also evident in "A Drunkard," in which "Your connoisaeur in Liquors consults the Bumble Bee" (1. 11).

In "Wine of Cyprus" and "I taste a liquor," such diminutive epicureans function strategically for EBB and Dickinson because, as woman poets, they can only get away with being "connoisaeurfs] in Liquors" through what Nina Baym terms "tricks of style." As Warner notes in citing Baym's term, "the Dionysian" was "not a permissible mode for female authors" (pp. 184, 186). Small creatures function as masks for EBB and Dickinson, like the child persona used in representing "the relation of the speaker to masculine figures" in Dickinson's works: both "the child within the woman" and "the child that woman is alleged to be," in Baym's words again (quoted in Miller, Emily Dickinson, p. 167). Hence Dickinson's self-representation as a "little Tippler," and EBB's similar representation of her "girlish voice" (WEBB 2: 1. 71) in describing her reading with Boyd in her late twenties. Their diminutive creatures also license the expression of eroticism. "A bee and rose act out a drama of courtship" in several Dickinson poems in which the poet identifies with both roles, Miller notes (p. 156). Dickinson certainly exploits the polymorphous sexuality of Anacreontic small creatures more extensively than EBB does (even though one might see a sexual role switch in EBB's dove wetting her "beak" in Anacreon's cup). That said, the "drunken bee" of "I taste a liquor," like the "fainting Bee" of "Come slowly--Eden!" that "[c]ounts his nectars--/ Enters--and is lost in Balms" (Fr205, 11. 4, 7-8) strikingly parallels the bee that "suck[s]" the rose in EBB's "A Dead Rose" (1846) and "swoon[s] in" its "perfumed ambers" for "joy" (WEBB 2, 309.11. 21-23). Both poems, moreover, are reminiscent of the "small erotics" in Robert Herrick's Anacreontic "The Captiv'd Bee," in which the bee that "tipple[s] freely in a flower" sips "hony" from Julia's lip. (63) In 1842, EBB echoed this lyric in praising Herrick (again using the "smell" test) as "the Ariel of poets, sucking 'where the bee sucks' from the rose-heart of nature, and reproducing the fragrance idealized" (WEBB 4: 459).

Beyond mobilizing Anacreontic masks of smallness to license expressions of desire, both "Wine of Cyprus" and "I taste a liquor" exploit them to parody dominant cultural constructions of drinking women, as alternatively loose, ludicrous, pathetic, or vicious in Warner's terms (p. 195). The "Wine" entry in the 1843 Penny Cyclopaedia provides an intriguing gloss on these gendered constructions, as well as on Dickinson's references to "Rhine" vats and "Manzanilla" in "I taste a liquor." The entry's author emphasizes the dangers of women drinking adulterated "highly stimulating mixtures"--especially potent sweet wines--and recommends as suitable for "females" the "light wines of France, of the Rhine, the Moselle, or the Amontillado and Manzanilla of Spain, to which brandy is not added." (64) The honey wine that EBB "sips" in "Wine of Cyprus" was clearly not a "light" wine. A 2012 web article promoting Cyprian wines published--or plagiarized--by Rebecca Gibb (it is actually written by Rose Sneyd) identifies Boyd's wine as probably Commandaria: a "fortified, darkly colored dessert wine," about "28 percent abv in Victorian times." (65) Little wonder a second "nectareous" bottle sent by Boyd was "so fit for the gods" that it made EBB "feverish" (BC 10: 196). Dickinson's "Manzanilla" is more suited to "females," as the Penny Cyclopaedia entry implies. Nevertheless, if her intoxication images "go far beyond Emerson in challenging the sober pieties of temperate New England," it was in part because of EBB's liberating example in employing masculine, Anacreontic drinking tropes to signify poetical inspiration (Warner, p. 65). Miller's observation that the "mask" of childhood is one of Dickinson's "primary disguises in the bid for power" (p. 167) and Suzanne Juhasz's remark that "diminutive stature" is "coyly" representative of its "opposit[e]" in "I taste a liquor" also apply to "Wine of Cyprus." (66)

It is precisely such paradoxes and tiny/Titanic transformations that make Dickinson's finest poetic tribute to EBB, "I think I was enchanted," such a magical poem, as well as another "bid for power" by the poet reimagining her "first" experience of reading "that Foreign Lady" when a "sombre" (or "little") "Girl" (Fr627,11. 1-3). Through five enjambed stanzas casting their own spell on the reader, Dickinson recalls how the "Dark--felt beautiful--" as she experienced a "Lunacy of Light" dissolving the boundaries of light, darkness, sanity/insanity, time, and place: "whether it was noon at night--/ Or only Heaven--at noon--/... I had not power to tell--" (11. 4-8). Bodies and sounds also metamorphose and blend: "The Bees--became as Butterflies--/ The Butterflies--as Swans," and even Nature's "meanest Tunes" are taken for "Giants--practising/Titanic Opera-" (11. 9-10, 11, 15-16). This tribute-elegy has been interpreted as central to Dickinson's poetic formation and negotiation of her poetic relationship with EBB, and there is no reason to question the view that Aurora Leigh is integral to both processes. "Titanic Opera" is an extraordinarily apt metaphor for the "unscrupulously epic" work in which EBB represents the "full-veined, heaving double-breasted Age"--a form adapting Homer's own epics, which Aurora boldly describes as the "cream ... sucked / From Juno's breasts" (WEBB 3: bk. 5,11. 214, 216,1250-1251). "I think I was enchanted" also teems with echoes of Aurora Leigh--noon, dawn, dark, witchcraft, poetical "conversion"--like other Dickinson poems echoing its images of sucking, volcanoes, breast-like alps, Italy, plank walking, and buzzing flies. (67) Nevertheless, Dickinson began reading "that Foreign Lady" before Aurora Leigh became a transatlantic publishing sensation; in "I think I was enchanted," she refers to reading "Tomes of Solid Witchcraft," not a single tome (1. 29), and clearly many other works by EBB contributed to the intertextual resonance and performative play of her own "witchcraft."

While the bees, butterflies, and "Divine Insanity" of "I think I was enchanted" connect it to "I taste a liquor" within Dickinson's oeuvre, other parallels directly connect Dickinson's tribute elegy to "Wine of Cyprus" and the Anacreontic tradition it enriches. Much as Dickinson's elegy remembers and reimagines the transformative effects of reading "that Foreign Lady" as a girl, EBB's tribute poem to Boyd remembers and reenters her experience of reading Greek poetry with the blind Boyd. If EBB portrays a scene of girlhood reading that is subtly eroticized, so likewise Martha Nell Smith's concept of an "erotics of reading" is especially applicable to "I think I was enchanted": (68) the poem that Chapman similarly finds "predicated" on Dickinson's "eroticized haunting" by EBB (p. 109). Just as boundaries dissolve in "I think I was enchanted," and "Giants" loom up in memory, in "Wine of Cyprus," "times and places / Change" and the speaker's sipping raises the "ghosts" (WEBB 2: 11. 59-60, 62) of a more heroic world where "queen Juno" is gigantic and, in Aurora's later words, "Homer's heroes" are "twelve feet high" (WEBB 3: bk. 5,1. 146). Much as there is a comic grotesqueness in the bizarre metamorphoses Dickinson describes, so "Wine of Cyprus" stages an over-the-top revel of "Titan" drinkers (WEBB 2: 1. 15) and Bacchanalian Naiads to convey the thirst of a "little tippler" with a taste for poetical intoxication as strong as Dickinson's in "I taste a liquor." While the "Divine Insanity" and "Conversion" in "I think I was enchanted" resonate with Aurora's volcanic upheaval when her heart was first "pricked" by "poetry's divine first finger-touch" (WEBB 3: bk. 1,11. 847, 851), they also recall the more traditional furor poeticus inspired by the Anacreontic "libation" in "Wine of Cyprus" (WEBB 2:1. 61).

Dickinson's spare poetics of compression, privileged in modernist reactions against the Victorians, contrasts with EBB's Ruskinian and Gothic poetics of ramifying complexity, much as Dickinson's "slant" attention to race, class, and the politics of nations contrasts with EBB's overt and historically influential engagement. Yet the two poets have more points of connection than Dickinson scholarship often suggests, with its prevailing focus on Aurora Leigh or, more rarely, Sonnets from the Portuguese, "A Vision of Poets," or relatively unexplored parallels in the two poets' experiments with rhyme, diction, and genre. (69) The view that EBB formed "no major stylistic model for Dickinson" is in many respects true (Miller, Emily Dickinson, p. 165). At the same time, a more historicist approach to lyric might also include more concerted investigation of the larger lyric traditions shared by the two poets and their contemporaries, in both Britain and America. I have argued that "I taste a liquor" in particular but also "I think I was enchanted" reflect the impact of "Wine of Cyprus" and that Dickinson similarly employs metaphors and conventions associated with a long tradition of Anacreontics, although without the same knowledge of classical precedents as her English precursor. In EBB's terms, then, "I taste a liquor" has the "smell of Anacreon" about it. It is not surprising to find Dickinson's poem--and "Wine of Cyprus" before it--sharing images a century later with the 1960s hit song by Laura Nyro "Sweet Blindness," in which a young woman--another "little tippler"--goes "down by the grapevine" to "drink [her] daddy's wine." (70)


(1) References to the Brownings' letters are drawn from Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The Brownings' Correspondence, 23 volumes, eds. Philip Kelley et al.; vols. 1-8 Kelley and Ronald Hudson; vols. 9-14 Kelley and Scott Lewis; vols. 15-19e Kelley, Lewis, and Edward Hagan; vols. 20-23 Kelley, Lewis, Hagan, Joseph Phelan and Rhian Williams (Winfield, KS: Wedgestone, 1984-2015), 13: 266, 270; hereafter cited parenthetically as BC.

(2) References to Dickinson's letters are drawn from Emily Dickinson, The Letters of Emily Dickinson, ed. Thomas H. Johnson and Theodora Ward, 3 volumes. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1958), no. 261; hereafter cited parenthetically as Letters and by letter number; Paula Bennett, Emily Dickinson: Woman Poet (Iowa City: Univ. of Iowa Press, 1990), pp. 15, 152.

(3) Emily Dickinson, "I think I was enchanted," in The Poems of Emily Dickinson, ed. R. W. Franklin, Variorum edition, 3 volumes. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1998), Fr627; Dickinson's poetry is hereafter cited parenthetically by poem number. The other two elegies are "Her--'last Poems' " and "I went to thank Her--" (Fr600, Fr637). For analyses, see, e.g., Bennett, Emily Dickinson: Woman Poet, pp. 14-16, 152-153; Cristanne Miller, Emily Dickinson: A Poet's Grammar (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1987), pp. 163-165; Mary Loeffelholz, Dickinson and the Boundaries of Feminist Theory (Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press, 1991), pp. 67-76; Ann Swyderski, "Dickinson and 'that Foreign Lady--,'" Symbiosis: A Journal of Anglo-American Literary Relations 4, no. 1 (2000): 51-65; Swyderski, "Dickinson's Enchantment: The Barrett Browning Fascicles," Symbiosis: A Journal of Anglo-American Literary Relations 7 (2003): 76-98; and Alison Chapman, "'I think I was enchanted': Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Haunting of American Women Poets," in Representations of Death in Nineteenth-Century US Writing and Culture, ed. Lucy E. Frank (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2007), pp. 109-124.

(4) Patricia Yaeger, Honey-Mad Women: Emancipatory Strategies in Women's Writing (New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1988), pp. 3-4.

(5) References to Elizabeth Barrett Browning's poetry are drawn from Elizabeth Barrett Browning, The Works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 5 volumes, gen. ed. Sandra Donaldson, vol. eds. Donaldson, Rita Patteson, Marjorie Stone, and Beverly Taylor (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2010); hereafter cited parenthetically as WEBB. For "Wine of Cyprus," see vol. 2, ed. Stone and Taylor, pp. 193-295.

(6) Marshall Brown, "Passion and Love: Anacreontic Song and the Roots of Romantic Lyric," ELH 66, no. 2 (1999): 397, 390.

(7) "Anacreontic," in The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, ed. Alex Preminger, Franke]. Warnke, and O. B. Hardison (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press, 1974), p. 33.

(8) "Anacreontic," in "Webster," Emily Dickinson Lexicon, Brigham Young University, 2007-2016, (accessed July 5, 2014).

(9) Marty Roth, "'Anacreon' and Drink Poetry; or, The Art of Feeling Very Very Good," Texas Studies in Language and Literature 42, no. 3 (2000): 314-345.

(10) Cristanne Miller, Reading in Time: Emily Dickinson in the Nineteenth Century (Amherst: Univ. of Massachusetts Press, 2012), pp. 28-29, 25.

(11) Yopie Prins, Victorian Sappho (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press, 1999), p. 3.

(12) Camille Paglia, quoted in Paul Giles, " 'The Earth reversed her Hemispheres': Dickinson's Global Antipodality," ED] 20 (2011): 3.

(13) Patricia A. Rosenmeyer, The Poetics of Imitation: Anacreon and the Anacreontic Tradition (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1992), pp. 15-20, 32-34.

(14) Thomas Moore, Odes of Anacreon, 9th ed., vol. 1 (London: Carpenter and Son, 1815), p. xxiv.

(15) D. A. Campbell, "Horace and Anacreon," Acta Classica: Journal of the Classical Association of South Africa 27 (1985): 35-38. Rosenmeyer discusses this generally but also cites Theocritus specifically and further notes that Bathyllus "is nowhere mentioned in the extant verses" of Anacreon (Poetics of Imitation, pp. 17-18, 24, 27).

(16) Tom Mason, "Abraham Cowley and the Wisdom of Anacreon," Cambridge Quarterly 19, no. 2 (1990): 103.

(17) Janet Levarie, "Renaissance Anacreontics," Comparative Literature 25, no. 3 (1973): 221-223; Katherine Duncan-Jones, "Sidney's Anacreontics," Review of English Studies 36, no. 142 (1985): 226-228.

(18) For more detailed accounts of Stephen's Anacrontea and its impact, see Rosenmeyer, Poetics of Imitation, pp. 1-11; and Mason, "Abraham Cowley," pp. 103-104. For somewhat varying accounts of the European traditions influenced, see Mason, "Abraham Cowley," pp. 104-105; Roth, "'Anacreon' and Drink Poetry," p. 330; and Brown, "Passion and Love," pp. 386-390.

(19) Roth, "'Anacreon' and Drink Poetry," p. 330; Brown, "Passion and Love," p. 385. For EBB's translations of Goethe, see section two of this essay.

(20) Lord Byron, Don Juan, in The Complete Poetical Works, ed. Jerome J. McGann, vol. 5 (Oxford, UK: Clarendon, 1991), canto 1, sec. 104,1. 5.

(21) Stella Achilleos, "The Anacreontea and a Tradition of Refined Male Sociability," in A Pleasing Sinne: Drink and Conviviality in Seventeenth-Century England, ed. Adam Smyth (Cambridge, UK: D. S. Brewer, 2004), pp. 23-24.

(22) I am indebted to Beverly Taylor for first drawing my attention to Gillray's caricature.

(23) Brown, "Passion and Love," pp. 389-390. EBB's "A Vision of Poets," echoed by Dickinson (see later in this essay) is pervaded by echoes of Keats (see WEBB 1: 189). On Dickinson's regard for Keats with the Brownings, see Letters, no. 261.

(24) John Thelwall, John Thelwall: Selected Poetry and Poetics, ed. Judith Thompson (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), pp. 175-186.

(25) Anya Taylor, "Coleridge, Keats, Lamb, and Seventeenth-Century Drinking Songs," in Milton, the Metaphysicals, and Romanticism, ed. Lisa Low and Anthony John Harding (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1994), pp. 225-226. Taylor mentions the Anacreontic tradition only in passing (pp. 228-230).

(26) Kathryn Ledbetter, Tennyson and Victorian Periodicals: Commodities in Context (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2007), p. 22. On Tennyson's "lady poems," see especially Linda H. Peterson, "Tennyson and the Ladies," VP 47, no. 1 (2009): 25-43.

(27) "Noctes Amhrosianae. No. XLIV," Blackwood's 25 (June 1829): 791.

(28) See, e.g., Branwell's Blackwood's Magazine, June 1829, pp. 5-8, and other digital facsimiles for other months in Harvard Library, at /deliver/~hou00223 (accessed April 3, 2016).

(29) Robert Browning, "Nationality in Drinks," in Robert Browning: The Poems, ed. John Pettigrew, vol. 1 (New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press, 1981), p. 453,11. 29, 32.

(30) A. H. Bullen, introduction to Anacreon: With Thomas Stanley's Translation, ed. A. H. Bullen (London: Lawrence and Bullen, 1893), pp. xiv, x.

(31) Christopher Reed, Art and Homosexuality: A History of Ideas (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 2011), p. 64.

(32) Judson France Davidson, The Anacreontea and Principal Remains of Anacreon of Teos, in English Verse (London: J. M. Dent, 1912), p. 47; "From the Odes of Anacreon," in Poetica Erotica: A Collection of Rare and Curious Amatory Verse, ed. T. R. Smith, vol. 1 (New York: Boni and Liveright, 1921), pp. 8-11.

(33) Joshua Scodel, Excess and the Mean in Early Modern English Literature (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press, 2002), p. 248.

(34) Terms used by Simon Avery (varying Virginia Woolf's famous words), Marjorie Stone, and Tricia Lootens, respectively; quoted in Marjorie Stone and Beverly Taylor, introduction to Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Selected Poems, ed. Marjorie Stone and Beverly Taylor (Peterborough, ON: Broadview, 2009), p. 5.

(35) On Homer and epic, see, e.g., Isobel Hurst, Victorian Women Writers and the Classics: The Feminine of Homer (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2006); and Herbert F. Tucker, "Aurora Leigh: Epic Solutions to Novel Ends," in Famous Last Words: Changes in Gender and Narrative Closure, ed. Alison Booth (Charlottesville: Univ. of Virginia Press, 1993), pp. 62-85. On EBB's two translations of Aeschylus, see WEBB 4: 189-220; 1: 119-171; Yopie Prins, "The Sexual Politics of Translating Prometheus Bound," Cultural Critique 74 (2010): 164-180; and Clara Drummond, "A 'Grand Possible': Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Translations of Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound," International Journal of the Classical Tradition 12, no. 4 (2006): 507-562.

(36) Herbert F. Tucker, "An Ebbigrammar of Motives; or, Ba for Short," VP 44, no. 4 (2006): 449.

(37) The Oxford Book of Eighteenth Century Verse, ed. David Nichol Smith (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1926), p. 153. First published in The Scarborough Miscellany (London: J. Roberts, 1732). Available at Representative Poetry Online, ed. Ian Lancanshire. (accessed April 3, 2016).

(38) EBB's allusion is noted in Davidson's 1912 edition of The Anacreontea, pp. 68-69. Another Anacreontic ode explains that Anacreon obtained the dove from Venus, who sold it to him "for a song": a "story" the dove-speaker in EBB's playful "Epistle to a Canary" (1837, WEBB 5: 529-536) objects to because it diminishes her ancestors' "glory" (11. 76-77).

(39) Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Diary by E.B.B.: The Unpublished Diary of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1831-1832, ed. Philip Kelley and Ronald Hudson (Athens: Ohio Univ. Press, 1969). See, e.g., p. 43, for debates like those in "Wine of Cyprus."

(40) See Christine Kenyon Jones, '"Some World's-Wonder in Chapel or Crypt': Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Disability," Nineteenth Century Studies 16 (2002): 21-35; Julie Miele Rodas, "Misappropriations: Hugh Stuart Boyd and the Blindness of Elizabeth Barrett Browning," Victorian Review 33, no. 2 (2007): 103-118.

(41) Karen Dieleman, "A Politics of Just Memory: Elizabeth Barrett and the Greek Christian Poets," Journal of Browning Studies 3 (2012): 17-19.

(42) W. S. Gilbert, Princess Ida or Castle Adamant (London: G. Bell and Sons, 1914), p. 14.

(43) Browning observes of Jonson's Anacreontic lyric, "I know all about that song and its Greek original"; Mary Russell Mitford, Recollections of a Literary Life: And Selections from My Favourite Poets and Prose Writers (London: Richard Bentley and Son, 1883), p. 226.

(44) Thanks again to Beverly Taylor for noting this key Anacreontic allusion in EBB's letters.

(45) Elizabeth Barrett Browning, "Wine of Cyprus," in The Poets of the Nineteenth Century, ed. Robert Aris Wilmott (London: George Routledge, 1857), p. 331.

(46) I analyze echoes of "Wine of Cyprus" in "The Lowest Room" in Marjorie Stone, "Sisters in Art: Christina Rossetti and Elizabeth Barrett Browning," VP 32, nos. 3-4 (1994): 354.

(47) Quoted in Klaus Lubbers, Emily Dickinson: The Critical Revolution (Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press, 1968), p. 112.

(48) Elizabeth Barrett Browning, The Poems of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (New York: C. S. Francis; Boston: Crosby and Nichols, 1852), inscribed, "Sue H. Gilbert Jan 1st. 53." Item 144, Emily Dickinson Family Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (hereafter EDR).

(49) Alfred Habegger, My Wars Are Laid Away in Books: The Life of Emily Dickinson (New York: Random House, 2001), p. 317. Echoes of "A Vision of Poets" are earlier noted by Jack L. Capps, Emily Dickinson's Reading, 1836-1886 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1966), p. 83; Vivian R. Poliak, "Dickinson, Poe, and Barrett Browning: A Clarification," New England Quarterly 54, no. 1 (1981): 121-124; Miller, Emily Dickinson, p. 163; and Swyderski, "Dickinson and 'that Foreign Lady,'" p. 63. Habegger questionably concludes that, unlike Aurora Leigh, "A Vision of Poets" has "nothing to say about female experience and artistic ambition" (p. 386). For readings of EBB's poem stressing the opposite, see Marjorie Stone, Elizabeth Barrett Browning (New York: St. Martin's, 1995), pp. 85-93; and Stephanie L. Johnson, "Aurora Leigh's Radical Youth: Derridean Parergon and the Narrative Frame in 'A Vision of Poets,"' VP 44, no. 4 (2006): 425-444.

(50) Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Poetical Works of Oliver Wendell Holmes (London: G. Routledge, 1852), pp. 7, 281-282. The Dickinson library contained the 1849 "new and enlarged edition" of Holmes's Poems and his 1851 Poems (EDR 76, 77). Other Holmes poems also reflect his immersion in Anacreontic discourse: e.g., "On Lending a Punch-Bowl" (pp. 267-270). In Emily Dickinson's Imagery, ed. Margaret H. Freeman (Amherst: Univ. of Massachusetts Press, 1979), p. 167, Rebecca Patterson notes the echoes of Holmes's poetry in Dickinson's "We--Bee and I--live by quaffing" (Fr244).

(51) Nicholas O. Warner, Spirits of America: Intoxication in Nineteenth-Century American Literature (Norman: Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 1997), pp. 12, 15-16, 34. On the adaptation of the tune for "To Anacreon" for the American anthem, see William Lichtenwanger, "The Music of 'The Star-Spangled Banner': Whence and Whither?," College Music Symposium 18, no. 2 (1978): 34-81.

(52) Henry David Thoreau, Anacreon, in Selected Writings of the American Transcendentalists, ed. George Hochfield, 2nd ed. (New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press, 2004), pp. 357-362.

(53) Edgar Allan Poe, cited by Roth, p. 315; E. W. Pitcher, "Poe's 'The Raven' and the Anacreontea," Notes & Queries 42, no. 2 (1995): 188-189; Poe, "Review of Rufus Dawes," Graham's Magazine, October 1842, pp. 208-209.

(54) Ann Rigney, "Embodied Communities: Commemorating Robert Burns, 1859," Representations 115, no. 1 (2011): 71-73; Jay Leyda, The Years and Hours of Emily Dickinson, vol. 1 (New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press: Archon Books, 1970), p. 179.

(55) David S. Reynolds, "Emily Dickinson and Popular Culture," in Cambridge Introduction to Emily Dickinson, ed. Wendy Martin (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2002), pp. 172-175; Domnhall Mitchell, "Ardent Spirits: Temperance in Emily Dickinson's Writing," Emily Dickinson Journal 15, no. 2 (2006): 95-112.

(56) Library Company of Philadelphia, "Women & Temperance," http://www.library (accessed April 3, 2016).

(57) Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, vol. 9, Poems (2015),

(58) Karl Keller, The Only Kangaroo among the Beauty: Emily Dickinson and America (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1979), pp. 157-159. Harold Bloom's argument that Emerson's "Bacchus" should be addressed to "Dionysos," not the "secularized, somewhat debased Roman" god, similarly overlooks the many invocations to Bacchus in Romantic poetry itself, influenced in part by the Anacreontic tradition (cited in Warner, 299).

(59) EDR 144, vol. 1, pp. 272-278; EBB made no verbal revisions to the poem's text after 1844 (WEBB 2: 196). For her comments on Francis's piracies, see BC 17: 172-173, 174nl4.

(60) EDR 197. For a summary of scholarship on these echoes, see Swyderski, "Dickinson's Enchantment," p. 78.

(61) Kate Field, "Elizabeth Barrett Browning," Atlantic Monthly 8, no. 47 (September 1861), p. 369; Chapman, "I think I was enchanted," p. 117.

(62) Bernard J. Paris, "Emerson's 'Bacchus,'" Modern Language Quarterly 23, no. 2 (1962): 150.

(63) The Complete Poems of Robert Herrick, eds. Tom Cain and Ruth Connelly (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press), p. 67,11. 4-8.

(64) "Wine," in The Penny Cyclopaedia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, vol. 27 (London: Charles Knight, 1843), pp. 463-465.

(65) Rebecca Gibb, "It Gives Me Fever: A Poet and Cypriot Wine," Wine-Searcher, April 27 2012,'elizabeth -barrett-browning-an-ingrate. After I mentioned the unusual scholarly knowledge of EBB's poem and letters in this article to Rose Sneyd, a New Zealand PhD student whom I am currently supervising, she realized and confirmed (with evidence) that it was written by her at a time when she was employed with Gibb.

(66) Suzanne Juhasz, The Undiscovered Continent: Emily Dickinson and the Space of the Mind (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1983), p. 107.

(67) On these shared images, see the studies referenced in note 3, above; on the two poets' shared Italian metaphors, see Paraic Finnerty, "Rival Italies: Emily Dickinson, John Ruskin and Henry James," Prose Studies 31, no. 2 (2009): 113-125.

(68) Martha Nell Smith, Rowing in Eden: Rereading Emily Dickinson (Austin: Univ. of Texas Press, 1992), p. 55.

(69) For studies of EBB's experiments with rhyme, diction, and meter, see the overview in Stone and Taylor, introduction to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, pp. 42-47.

(70) See Patricia S. Rudden, "Blindness Never Brewed: A Dickinson Analogue of Nyro's 'Sweet Blindness,'" Emily Dickinson International Society Bulletin 18, no. 1 (2006): 3-5.
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Author:Stone, Marjorie
Publication:Victorian Poetry
Article Type:Essay
Date:Jun 22, 2016
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