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Emily Rocks! - Emily Dickinson between poetry and music

Aggiornamento: 11 mar 2023

MEET EMILY:



THEME 1: AFTERLIFE


BECAUSE I COULD NOT STOP FOR DEATH


In her poem ‘Because I could not stop for Death’, Emily Dickinson describes a close encounter with “Death” and “Immortality”. She uses personification to portray “Death” and “Immortality” as characters. Her familiarity with them at the beginning of the poem causes the reader to feel at ease with the idea of death. However, as the poem progresses, a sudden shift in tone causes readers to see it for what it really is, cruel and evil.

Because I could not stop for Death –

He kindly stopped for me –

The Carriage held but just Ourselves –

And Immortality.


We slowly drove – He knew no haste

And I had put away

My labor and my leisure too,

For His Civility –

We passed the School, where Children strove

At Recess – in the Ring –

We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –

We passed the Setting Sun –


Or rather – He passed Us –

The Dews drew quivering and Chill –

For only Gossamer, my Gown –

My Tippet – only Tulle –


We paused before a House that seemed

A Swelling of the Ground –

The Roof was scarcely visible –

The Cornice – in the Ground –


Since then – 'tis Centuries – and yet

Feels shorter than the Day

I first surmised the Horses' Heads

Were toward Eternity –





THEME 2: GARDENS AND NATURE…




ONE FAINTING ROBIN


If I can stop one heart from breaking,

I shall not live in vain;

If I can ease one life the aching,

Or cool one pain,

Or help one fainting robin

Unto his nest again,

I shall not live in vain.


BEE! I’M EXPECTING YOU


Bee! I'm expecting you!

Was saying Yesterday

To Somebody you know

That you were due—


The Frogs got Home last Week—

Are settled, and at work—

Birds, mostly back—

The Clover warm and thick—


You'll get my Letter by

The seventeenth; Reply

Or better, be with me—

Yours, Fly.


THEME 3: LOVE, HOPE & Co.


THE HEART WANTS WHAT IT WANTS


This song finds Selena Gomez opening up about her relationship troubles with on-again, off-again boyfriend Justin Bieber. The title is a phrase that was first coined by Emily Dickinson in 1862 as part of the opening lines of a letter she wrote to a Mrs. Mary Bowles. They were penned by the poet to her friend on an occasion that Mr. Bowles had to travel away from his wife. ("When the Best is gone- I know that other things are not of consequence - the heart wants what it wants - or else it does not care").


The phrase is most closely associated with Woody Allen during a 2001 interview with Time magazine about his relationship with girlfriend Mia Farrow's daughter Soon-Yi. "The heart wants what it wants" was the director/actor's explanation for his behavior.


HOPE IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS


“Hope” is the thing with feathers -

That perches in the soul -

And sings the tune without the words -

And never stops - at all -


And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -

And sore must be the storm -

That could abash the little Bird

That kept so many warm -


I’ve heard it in the chillest land -

And on the strangest Sea -

Yet - never - in Extremity,

It asked a crumb - of me.



MORE PICTURES OF EMILY

TO SEE HER IS A PICTURE


“To see her is a picture— To hear her is a tune— To know her an Intemperance As innocent as June— To know her not—Affliction— To own her for a Friend A warmth as near as if the Sun Were shining in your Hand.”


FOR EMILY, WHENEVER I MAY FIND HER

This short song is one of the Simon & Garfunkel’s most romantic ballads. A man looks for the love of his life, wondering what it will be like when they meet again. It's very simple and brief, but very heartfelt.


What I dream I had

Pressed in organdy

Clothed in crinoline of smoky Burgundy

Softer than the rain

I wandered empty streets

past the shop displays down

I heard cathedral bells

Tripping down the alley ways

As I walked on


And when you ran to me

Your cheeks flushed with the night

We walked on frosted fields

of juniper and lamplight

I held your hand


And when I awoke and felt you warm and near

I kissed your honey hair with my grateful tears

Oh I love you girl

Oh I love you



At the Simon & Garfunkel Live At Granada special, Garfunkel introduced this song by saying: "This is a song about a girl who is fictitious. Her name is Emily. Neither of us know her but the song is written about her. I'm sure she will appear someday.” Simon said in a 1990 interview with SongTalk magazine: "Artie likes that song an awful lot. He liked to sing it. Well, it was a very romantic song but I don't like it.” Some have suggested that Paul Simon titled the song after Emily Dickinson; the poet is referenced in the lyrics of another song included in the same album “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme” (1966): "The Dangling Conversation.”


And you read your Emily Dickinson

And I my Robert Frost

And we note our place with book markers

That measure what we've lost



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