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Three Emily Dickinson Songs

Word count: 132

Song Cycle by Jules Langert (b. 1932)

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1. Much madness is divinest sense [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE GER GER

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Fran├žais) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Walter A. Aue) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Much madness is divinest sense
To [a]1 discerning eye;
Much sense the starkest madness.
'Tis the majority
In this, as all, prevails.
Assent, and you are sane,
Demur, - you're straightaway dangerous,
And handled with a chain.


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1 Langert : "the"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. The spider holds a silver ball [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): GER

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Walter A. Aue) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


The Spider holds a Silver Ball
In unperceived Hands --
And dancing softly to Himself
His Yarn of Pearl -- unwinds --

He plies from Nought to Nought --
In unsubstantial Trade --
Supplants our Tapestries with His --
In half the period --

An Hour to rear supreme
His [Continents]1 of Light --
Then dangle from the Housewife's Broom --
His [Boundaries]2 -- forgot --


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1 Langert: "theories"
2 Langert: "sophistries"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. The heart asks pleasure first [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE GER GER

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Fran├žais) (Guy Laffaille) , "Le Cœur réclame le Plaisir - d'abord", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Walter A. Aue) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


The heart asks pleasure - first,
And then excuse from pain.
And then those little anodynes
That deaden suffering.

And then, to go to sleep;
And then, if it should be
The will of its Inquisitor,
The liberty to die.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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