Editorial glosses and textual notes are available in a pop-up window. Line numbering reflects the structure of the 1881 Poems First Edition Text.
As with poems like A New-Year's Burden,
“Even So” is as much an experiment in verse technique as anything
else. Consequently, the poem arrests one with its abstract qualities—an arrest
all the more effective because of the apparent subject (failed love), which
come in at such an oblique angle. The poem's self-display of technical
precision and deliberateness becomes an objective correlative for an
immobilized emotional condition.
The poem is dated by WMR 1859 (in the table of
); no evidence for this date is offered. The close correspondence
of the central stanza to a passage in a letter of 26 June 1854
Fredeman, Correspondence, 54. 51
) suggests that the poem may have been begun, if
not written, at that time. The only extant manuscript, a fair copy, dates from 1869.
The poem was first printed as part of the
prepublication texts that DGR put together in 1869, as a prelude
to the publication of the 1870 Poems. It was printed in August in the
Penkill Proofs, where it
formed part of the section of The
House of Life poems. DGR moved the poem to the opening
Poems section as the
prepublication text of the 1870 volume moved into the
proofs for the first
edition in early March (see
Fredeman, Correspondence, 70. 45
, letter to Swinburne
of 7 March 1870). The poem was first published in the first edition
of the 1870 Poems.