Attention! Some of this material is not in the public domain.
It is illegal to copy and distribute our copyright-protected material without permission. It is also illegal to reprint copyright texts or translations without the name of the author or translator.
To inquire about permissions and rates, contact Emily Ezust at
If you wish to reprint translations, please make sure you include the names of the translators in your email. They are below each translation.
Note: You must use the copyright symbol © when you reprint copyright-protected material.
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.
About the headline (FAQ)View original text (without footnotes)
1 Langert : "the"
- by Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886), no title, appears in Poems of Emily Dickinson, first published 1890 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):
- by Robert F. Baksa (b. 1938), "Much madness is divinest sense", published 1977, from Emily Dickinson Songs, no. 1 [sung text not yet checked]
- by David Horowicz (b. 1960), "Much madness is divinest sense", 1988 [ soprano, viola, mandolin, guitar ], from Five songs on poems of Emily Dickinson, no. 2 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Sergius Kagen (1909 - 1964), "Much madness is divinest sense", published 1956 [ voice, clarinet or chamber orchestra ], from The Mob Within the Heart [sung text not yet checked]
- by Leon Kirchner (b. 1919), "435", 1982 [ soprano and piano ], from The Twilight Stood, no. 4 [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Jules Langert (b. 1932), "Much madness is divinest sense", from Three Emily Dickinson Songs, no. 1 [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Harris Lindenfeld (b. 1945), "Much madness is divinest sense" [ soprano, e flat clarinet, and piano ], from 3 Dickinson Songs [sung text not yet checked]
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- FRE French (Français) (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
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 8
Word count: 37
Une grande Folie est l'Esprit le plus divin -- Pour un Œil perspicace -- Beaucoup d'Esprit -- la Folie la plus pure -- C'est la Majorité Qui ici, comme partout, prévaut -- Acquiescez -- et vous êtes sain d'esprit - Refusez -- vous êtes tout se suite dangereux -- Et attaché avec une Chaîne --
About the headline (FAQ)
- Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2016 by Guy Laffaille, (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.
- a text in English by Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886), no title, appears in Poems of Emily Dickinson, first published 1890
This text was added to the website: 2016-04-12
Line count: 8
Word count: 46