Dickinson: in mitigation

What Randall Jarrell said about Robert Frost is also true of Emily Dickinson: her best poems are almost as beloved as her worst. But here’s some scholarship in mitigation.

First the poem: Fr982, as it usually is formatted online.

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

Second, historical evidence for the genteel pronunciation of “again.” In the sequence beginning at about minute 18:30 of

you’ll hear it: “eggayne.”

Third and decisively, artificial intelligence has motored up at last with aid for the fainting robin. Perhaps the stretcher bearer was Ernest Hemingway.