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“Things that never come back”

Dickinson felt so at home in the kitchen and pantry that she frequently jotted down poems on paper scraps like this baking chocolate wrapper and a recipe for a Mrs. Carmichael’s coconut cake. From chocolate caramels, to entire pies, to slices of heavy black cake, she sent her famous treats accompanied by poems to her closest friends and family.

Courtesy of Amherst College Archives & Special Collections

Yellow wrapper inscribed "Chocolat Meunier Lombart" with logo of a crown above oak & narcissus boughs. Pencil lines on back.

This Dickinson poem penciled onto the back of a coconut cake recipe meditates on loss and the precarious ways in which distant “joys” return.

The Things that never can come back, are several -
Childhood - some forms of Hope - the Dead -

Though Joys - like Men - may sometimes make a Journey -
And still abide -
We do not mourn for Traveler, or Sailor,
Their Routes are fair -
But think enlarged of all that they will tell us
Returning here -
"Here"! There are typic "Heres" -
Foretold Locations -
The Spirit does not stand -
Himself - at whatsoever Fathom
His Native Land -



Handwritten manuscript printed in pencil on lined paper. Creased once.