You did not state — your price —
A Petal, for a Paragraph
Is near as I can guess —
F526 (1863) J402
Scholar Judith Farr reads this witty poem as Dickinson's offer to pay correspondents with flowers – the longer their letters to her, the more petals Dickinson would include in her response. This makes some sense as Dickinson did indeed send flowers to friends.
|Auguste Toulmouche, 1866. |
Detail from The Reluctant Bride
"Satin Cash" also conjures the lovely gowns and ribbons worn by women of the time. While Victorian women were raised to be and to be regarded as untouchable, their gowns signaled sexual readiness. From their silk and satin fabrics to the wasp waists, hoops and crinolines, the gowns promised sensuality and fertility. Young maidens venturing out to their first balls would surely be wearing the finest "Satin Cash" their fathers could afford. The dress might well attract a man of means.