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Seven Choral Settings of Poems by Emily Dickinson

Word count: 304

Song Cycle by Donald Grantham (b. 1947)

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?. One need not be a chamber to be haunted [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): GER

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


One need not be a chamber to be haunted,
One need not be a house;
The brain has corridors surpassing
Material place.

Far safer, of a midnight meeting
External ghost,
Than an interior confronting
That cooler host.

Far safer through an Abbey gallop,
The stones achase,
Than, moonless, one's own self encounter
In lonesome place.

Ourself, behind ourself concealed,
Should startle most;
Assassin, hid in our apartment,
Be horror's least.

The prudent carries a revolver,
He bolts the door,
O'erlooking a superior spectre
More near.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. The spider as an artist [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): GER

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


The Spider as an Artist
Has never been employed -
Though his surpassing Merit
Is freely certified

By every Broom and Bridget
Throughout a Christian Land -
Neglected Son of Genius,
I take thee by the Hand.


Confirmed with The Poems of Emily Dickinson, ed. R.W. Franklin, Volume 3, Cambridge, MA and London, England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1998, Poem 1373.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. This is my letter to the world [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): GER

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


This is my letter to the world, 
That never wrote to me, - 
The simple news that nature told, 
With tender magesty. 

Her message is committed
To hands I cannot see;
For love of her, sweet countrymen,
Judge tenderly of me!


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Without a smile -- without a throe [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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Without a smile -- Without a Throe
A Summer's soft Assemblies go
To their entrancing end
Unknown -- for all the times we met --
Estranged, however intimate --
What a dissembling Friend --


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. For each ecstatic instant [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE ITA

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

  • FRE French (Fran├žais) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Per ogni attimo d'estasi", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


For each ecstatic instant
We must an anguish pay
In keen and quivering ratio
To the ecstasy.

For each beloved hour
Sharp pittances of years,
Bitter contested farthings
And coffers heaped with tears.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Father, I bring thee not myself [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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Father, I bring thee not myself, --
        That were the little load;
I bring thee the imperial heart
        I had not strength to hold.

The heart I cherished in my own
        Till mine too heavy grew,
Yet strangest, heavier since it went,
        Is it too large for you?


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. A spider sewed at night [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE GER GER ITA

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

  • FRE French (Fran├žais) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2017, (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
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


A spider sewed at night
Without a light
Upon an arc of white.
If ruff it was of dame
Or shroud of Gnome,
Himself, himself inform.
Of immortality
His strategy
Was physiognomy.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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