Newton likely introduced her to the writings of William Wordsworth , and his gift to her of Ralph Waldo Emerson 's first book of collected poems had a liberating effect. She wrote later that he, "whose name my Father's Law Student taught me, has touched the secret Spring".  Newton held her in high regard, believing in and recognizing her as a poet. When he was dying of tuberculosis , he wrote to her, saying that he would like to live until she achieved the greatness he foresaw.  Biographers believe that Dickinson's statement of 1862—"When a little Girl, I had a friend, who taught me Immortality – but venturing too near, himself – he never returned"—refers to Newton.