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XVI: the crowning years In 1889, Colonel Higginson began what proved to be a four years task of editing, with Mrs. Mabel Loomis Todd of Amherst, Emily Dickinson's poems and letters. Of this work he wrote Mrs. Todd:— I can't tell you how much I am enjoying the poems. There are many new to me which take my breath away. A year later he wrote to her:— You are the only person who can feel as I do about this extraordinary thing we have done in recording this rare genius. I feel as if we had climbed to a cloud, pulled it away, and revealed a new star behind it . . . . Such things as I find in her letters! The Madonnas I see are those that pass the House to their work, carrying Saviours with them. Is not that one of the take-your-breath-away thoughts? There is much that I never could print, as where she writes, Of our greatest acts we are ignorant. You were not aware that you saved my life. What a unique existence was hers! Four years later, he wrote:— I <