by Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886)
Translation © by Salvador Pila

I felt a funeral in my brain
Language: English 
Available translation(s): CAT FRE GER GER ITA
I felt a funeral in my brain,
And mourners to and fro,
Kept treading, treading, till it seemed
That sense was breaking through.

And when they all were seated
A service like a drum
Kept beating, beating, till I thought
My mind was going numb.

And then I heard them lift a box,
And creak across my soul
With those same boots of [lead]1.
Then space began to toll

As all the heavens were a bell,
And Being but an ear,
And I and silence some strange race,
Wrecked, solitary, here.

And then a plank in reason, broke,
And I dropped down and down --
And hit a world at every plunge,
And finished knowing -- then --

A. Copland sets stanzas 1-4

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Copland: "lead, again"


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "J'ai senti un enterrement dans ma tête", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Walter A. Aue) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , title 1: "Vaig sentir un funeral al meu cap", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:26
Line count: 20
Word count: 115

Vaig sentir un funeral al meu cap
Language: Catalan (Català)  after the English 
Vaig sentir un funeral al meu cap,
i els acompanyants del dol, d’una banda a l’altra,
caminaven sense parar fins que em semblà
que estava perdent els sentits.

I quan tots ells segueren,
un ofici com un timbal
batia sense parar fins que vaig pensar
que l’enteniment se m’entumiria.

I llavors vaig sentir com aixecaven una caixa
i em travessaven l’ànima amb els cruixits
d’aquelles mateixes botes de plom.
Aleshores l’espai començà a repicar

com si tot el cel fossin campanes,
i l’existència fos només una orella,
i jo i el silenci, una raça estranya,
enrunada, solitària, aquí.

Llavors una biga del meu enteniment es trencà
i jo queia, queia avall, avall –
i a cada esfondrament topava contra un món,
i vaig acabar perdent el coneixement – llavors –


  • Translation from English to Catalan (Català) copyright © 2016 by Salvador Pila, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

Based on


Text added to the website: 2016-03-29 00:00:00
Last modified: 2016-03-29 17:38:33
Line count: 20
Word count: 130