by Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886)
Translation © by Bertram Kottmann

Much madness is divinest sense
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE GER GER
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.

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1 Langert : "the"


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 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

Verrücktheit ‑ göttlichste Vernunft
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
„Verrücktheit“ - göttlichste Vernunft -
dem, der es wahrlich sieht,
„Vernunft“, schierste Verrücktheit -
doch was die Mehrheit meint,
das gilt, wie stets, auch hier -
wer zustimmt, ist normal,
und wer sich sträubt, gilt als Gefahr,
die man in Ketten legt.

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  • Translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2017 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Bertram Kottmann.  Contact: BKottmann (AT)

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This text was added to the website: 2017-06-10
Line count: 8
Word count: 42