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

She sights a Bird ‑ she chuckles
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE GER GER
She sights a Bird - she chuckles -
She flattens - then she crawls -
She runs without the look of feet -
Her eyes increase to Balls -

Her Jaws stir - twitching - hungry -
Her Teeth can hardly stand -
She leaps, but Robin leaped the first -
Ah, Pussy, of the Sand,

The Hopes so juicy ripening -
You almost bathed your Tongue -
When Bliss disclosed a hundred [Toes]1 -
And fled with every one.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
Confirmed with The Poems of Emily Dickinson, ed. R.W. Franklin, Volume 1, Cambridge, MA and London, England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1998, Poem 351.

1 In one of the earlier published versions this word was “wings”


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) , "Le chat", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Sharon Krebs) (Maria M. Schnepp) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2014-04-15
Line count: 12
Word count: 80

Le chat
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Il voit un Oiseau, -- il glousse --
Il s'aplatit -- puis il rampe --
Il court sans que l'on voie ses pieds --
Ses yeux deviennent des Balles --

Ses Mâchoires -- remuent -- affamées --
Ses Dents peuvent à peine attendre --
Il Saute -- mais le Merle a sauté le premier --
Ah, Minou, du Sable,

Les Espoirs mûrissants, si juteux --
Tu as presque baigné ta Langue --
Quand la Félicité a laissé voir une centaine d'Orteils --
Et s'est envolée avec chacun.


  • 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: 2017-09-09
Line count: 12
Word count: 72