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There's a certain slant of light, On winter afternoons, That oppresses, like the weight Of cathedral tunes. Heavenly hurt it gives us; We can find no scar, But internal difference Where the meanings are. None may teach it anything, 'T is the seal, despair, - An imperial affliction Sent us of the air. When it comes, the landscape listens, Shadows hold their breath; When it goes, 't is like the distance On the look of death.
About the headline (FAQ)
- by Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886), no title, appears in Poems of Emily Dickinson, first published 1890 [author's text not yet checked 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 Ernst Bacon (1898 - 1990), "Winter afternoons", published 1971 [ SA chorus and piano ], from Nature [sung text not yet checked]
- by Robert F. Baksa (b. 1938), "There's a certain slant of light", published 1978 [ mezzo-soprano, piano ], from Emily Dickinson Songs, no. 12 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Ronald A. Beckett , "Winter: There’s a certain slant of light", 2006 [ voice and piano ], from The Seasons: Four Poems of Emily Dickinson, no. 1 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Sharon Davis (b. 1937), "There's a certain slant of light", published 1981 [ soprano and piano trio ], from Three Moods of Emily Dickinson [sung text not yet checked]
- by Peter Dickinson (b. 1934), "There's a certain slant of light", published 1974 [ AATTBB chorus and contrabass ], from cantata Winter Afternoons [sung text not yet checked]
- by Daniel Rogers Pinkham (1923 - 2006), "There's a certain slant of light", published 1974 [ medium voice and electronic tape ], from Safe in their Alabaster Chambers [sung text not yet checked]
- by Richard Pearson Thomas (b. 1957), "There's a certain slant of light", from At last, to be identified, no. 5 [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) (Bertram Kottmann) , no title, copyright © 2018, (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: 16
Word count: 76
Il y a un certain Angle de lumière, Les Après-midi d'Hiver -- Qui oppresse, comme le Poids D'Airs de Cathédrale -- Blessé par le Ciel, il nous donne -- Nous ne pouvons voir de cicatrice, Mais une différence interne -- Où les Significations, sont -- Personne de peut lui apprendre -- Rien -- C'est le Sceau du Désespoir -- Une affliction impériale Envoyée vers nous par l'Air -- Quand il arrive, le Paysage écoute -- Les Ombres -- retiennent leur souffle -- Quand il s'en va, c'est comme la Distance Dans le regard de la Mort --
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: 2016-11-08
Line count: 16
Word count: 84