Some of the following material is not in the public domain.
It is illegal to copy and distribute our copyright-protected material without permission. Printing copyright texts or translations without the name of the author or translator is also illegal.
You must use the copyright symbol © when you reprint copyright-protected material.
For more information, contact us at:
Before writing, please read the instructions below the translations (under Authorship). Always include the names of the translators in your email if you wish to reprint something!
I felt a funeral in my brain, And mourners to and fro, Kept treading, treading, till it seemed That sense was breaking through. And when they all were seated A service like a drum Kept beating, beating, till I thought My mind was going numb. And then I heard them lift a box, And creak across my soul With those same boots of [lead]1. Then space began to toll As all the heavens were a bell, And Being but an ear, And I and silence some strange race, Wrecked, solitary, here. And then a plank in reason, broke, And I dropped down and down -- And hit a world at every plunge, And finished knowing -- then --
A. Copland sets stanzas 1-4
About the headline (FAQ)View original text (without footnotes)
1 Copland: "lead, again"
- by Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886), no title, appears in Poems by Emily Dickinson, first published 1896 [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 Ernst Bacon (1898 - 1990), "Treading", 196-? [text not verified]
- by Aaron Copland (1900 - 1990), "I felt a funeral in my brain", 1949-50, stanzas 1-4 [mezzo-soprano, piano], from Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson, no. 9. [text verified 1 time]
- by Michael M. Horvit (b. 1932), "I felt a funeral in my brain", published 1970 [soprano and piano], from Three Songs of Elegy [text not verified]
Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):
- FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "J'ai senti un enterrement dans ma tête", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- GER German (Deutsch) (Walter A. Aue) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , title 1: "Vaig sentir un funeral al meu cap", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:26
Line count: 20
Word count: 115
Ich fühlt' Begräbnis im Gehirn Und Trauergäste - her Und hin - die trampelten und trampelten In meinem Kopfe schwer. Und als sie endlich saßen, Die Andacht, trommelgleich, sie hört nicht auf zu schlagen, schlagen, Und schlug das Hirn mir weich. Ich hört' sie heben meinen Sarg Und durch die Seele dann Mit Eisenstiefeln knirschend gehn... Bis Raumgeläut begann. Da war'n die Himmel Glocken nur, Und Ohr nur war mein Sein, Und Ich und Ruh war'n Fremde hier, Gescheitert und allein. Zuletzt des Denkens Boden brach Und, Sturz um Sturz entlang, Fiel ich von Welt zu Welt, bis ich Des Wissens Ende fand.
About the headline (FAQ)
- Translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2010 by Walter A. Aue, (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.
Walter A. Aue.  Contact: waue (AT) dal (DOT) caIf you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:
- a text in English by Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886), no title, appears in Poems by Emily Dickinson, first published 1896
Text added to the website: 2010-01-12 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:30
Line count: 20
Word count: 103