by Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886)
Translation © by Guy Laffaille

Nature" is what we see
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE GER
"Nature" is what we see --
The Hill -- the Afternoon --
Squirrel -- Eclipse -- the Bumble bee --
Nay -- Nature is Heaven --
Nature is what we hear --
The Bobolink -- the Sea --
Thunder -- the Cricket --
Nay -- Nature is Harmony --
Nature is what we know --
Yet have no art to say --
So impotent Our Wisdom is
To her Simplicity.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with The Poems of Emily Dickinson, ed. R.W. Franklin, Volume 2, Cambridge, MA and London, England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1998, Poem 721 (Version A).


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):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Sharon Krebs) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2013-05-22
Line count: 12
Word count: 53

LaNatureest ce que Nous voyons
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
La « Nature « est ce que Nous voyons --
La Colline -- l'Après-midi --
L'Écureuil -- l'Éclipse -- le Bourdon --
Même -- la Nature est le Paradis --
La « Nature » est ce que Nous entendons --
Le Goglu des prés -- la Mer --
Le Tonnerre -- le Grillon --
Même -- La Nature est l'Harmonie --
La « Nature » est ce que Nous connaissons --
Mais nous n'avons aucun Art pour le dire --
Si faible est notre Sagesse
Devant sa Simplicité --

About the headline (FAQ)

Translations of title(s):
"Nature is what we see" = "La « Nature « est ce que Nous voyons"
"Afterword" = "Épilogue"


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2017 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.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2017-01-03
Line count: 12
Word count: 71