Featuring Songs about Emily Dickinson. Poems, Video, Authors Notes

Featuring Songs about Emily Dickinson. Poems, Video, Authors Notes

Emily Dickinson – Papa above!

Papa above!
Regard a Mouse
O’erpowered by the Cat!
Reserve within thy kingdom
A “Mansion” for the Rat!

Snug in seraphic Cupboards
To nibble all the day
While unsuspecting Cycles
Wheel solemnly away!

Ward Kelley Artist offer two versions of his song about Emily Dickinson.

The first by Don Whitaker.  Visit Don’s Emily Dickinson page to listen and Download free.

The first by Jessie of Joan in the Fires.  Visit Jessie’s Emily Dickinson page to listen and Download free.

Hope is the thing with feathers by Emily Dickinson

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.

Artist’s note about Emily Dickinson by Ward Kelley:

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), New England poet, is one of the country’s greatest poets. Spending nearly all of her life in Amherst, Massachusetts, the last half in relative seclusion, Emily came to be known as eccentric. Besides rare contacts with people outside her immediate family, she wore only white dresses and sometimes referred to herself as a wayward nun. Regarding her poems – only eleven of 1,775 poems were published during her lifetime – she advocated the “propounded word.” Her word for herself as a poet was “gnome,” and the poems themselves she called, “bulletins from Immortality.” Her last communication was written the day before her death, a short letter sent to relatives: “Little cousins, — Called back. Emily.”

The song is a tribute to Emily Dickinson, taking some of her public domain poetry and adding original lyrics. The singer concludes Emily changed his life by teaching him to see things in a much different way.

Variations on Emily

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me.

I soon saw I did not need breath,
I need Eternity.

There is a certain Slant of Light,
Oppresses from afar

on the look of Death, a dull might,
where all the meanings are.

Chorus
Oh Emily, oh Emily,
Oh how you brought me to see me,
to look askance, is how to see.
I tell the Truth, but tell it Slant,
Success in Degrees lies,

our biting at the Elephant,
so Truth always belies.

Dare you see a soul at white heat?
Our world the finisher,

forging us all, heart beat by beat,
in the rock polisher.

Chorus
Oh Emily, oh Emily,
Oh how you brought me to see me,
to look askance, is how to see.

I died for Beauty, but was scarce
adjusted in the tomb,

found one who died for Truth, a dareist,
fighting return to the womb.

I heard a fly buzz when I died,
only a body I lack,

all this talk of Hell, they just lied,
it’s clear I am Called Back.

Chorus
Oh Emily, oh Emily,
Oh how you brought me to see me,
to look askance, is how to see.

Listen to Variations on Emily

New Release Enfold Folk Album.

New Release Enfold Folk Album.

Enfold Album is Ward Kelley owner of Wardco Studios newest release.

Enfolds is available for download at Enfold Ward Kelley Artist.

Enfold is a contemporary folk album by Joan in the Fires, featuring Jessie Doyle. It combines the lyrics of poet Ward Kelley with imaginative melodies to produce a truly unique folk listening experience.

15 songs take the listener on a voyage through a Wild Mouse amusement park ride to the poets Sylvia Plath and Emily Dickinson to the Book of Proverbs to ancient Rome and finally to the Secret of Life, a tongue-in-cheek look at the world’s religion where the singer laments she is theologically abused. Interspaced throughout the album are new but more conventional folk songs and topics.

One thing is for certain, the listener will come away with a unique folk experience!

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Jessie Doyle is a Virginia singer/songwriter of folk, folk rock, and roots music, currently living in central Virginia. She released many of her own compositions, and fronts the Americana group, Folk Medicine. She recently launched a collaboration with writer/poet Ward Kelley.

Jessie is the consummate free spirit, whether in her music, choice of favored instruments (uke & banjo) or living style – she spent four years at the Virginia commune, Twin Oaks International Community, saying, “It was a great four years in which I felt like I could really be myself. My time spent there is irreplaceable.”

About Ward Kelley:
Ward Kelley has seen his stories and poems appear in hundreds of journals worldwide. He is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee and was the recipient of the Nassau Review Poetry Award for 2001, Kelley is also the author of “histories of souls,” a poetry collection, and he has an epic poem, “comedy incarnate” on CD and CD ROM. Kelley holds a Masters of Creative Writing. He published two novels “Divine Murder” and “Keenly Alive, Tony” which are both available on Amazon at Ward Kelley’s author page.

Enfold Folk Song List:

  1. Wild Mouse
  2. Folds
  3. Sylvia Raises a Slender, White Hand
  4. Variations on Emily
  5. Primal Peals of Learning
  6. Joan in the Fires
  7. Song For the Morning
  8. Make Me a Home
  9. This Love
  10. Cicero Thrusts His Head
  11. Centurion Hesitates At the Lake
  12. For You
  13. Secret of Life
  14. Everywhere I’ve Been
  15. Bonus – Song For the Morning, acoustic
Author’s Thoughts – Cicero Thrusts His Head

Author’s Thoughts – Cicero Thrusts His Head

Artist’s note:

Marcus Tullius Cicero as a child.

Marcus Tullius Cicero as a child.

Marcus Tullius Cicero, 3 January 106 BCE – 7 December 43 BCE) was a Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer, orator, political theorist, consul and constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the Roman equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome’s greatest orators and prose stylists. Though he was an accomplished orator and successful lawyer, Cicero believed his political career was his most important achievement. It was during his consulship that the Second Catilinarian Conspiracy attempted to overthrow the government through an attack on the city by outside forces, and Cicero suppressed the revolt by executing five conspirators without due process. During the chaotic latter half of the 1st century BC marked by civil wars and the dictatorship of Gaius Julius Caesar, Cicero championed a return to the traditional republican government. Following Julius Caesar’s death Cicero became an enemy of Mark Antony in the ensuing power struggle, attacking him in a series of speeches. He was proscribed as an enemy of the state by the Second Triumvirate and consequently executed by soldiers operating on their behalf in 43 BCE after having been intercepted during attempted flight from the Italian peninsula. His severed hands and head were then, as a final revenge of Mark Antony, displayed in the Roman Forum. –Wikipedia

Ward Kelley’s notes when writing the lyrics for “Cicero Thrusts His Head”.

thumbnail of Cicero Thrusts His Head






Quotes by Marcus Tullius Cicero

A home without books is a body without soul.

The pursuit, even of the best things, ought to be calm and tranquil.

Nothing is more noble, nothing more venerable than fidelity. Faithfulness and truth are the most sacred excellences and endowments of the human mind.

Let us not listen to those who think we ought to be angry with our enemies, and who believe this to be great and manly. Nothing is so praiseworthy, nothing so clearly shows a great and noble soul, as clemency and readiness to forgive.

Music by Jessie of Joan in the Fires.

Listen to Music by Joan in the Fires

Play Wild Mouse
Play Folds
Play Sylvia Raises a Slender, White Hand
Play Variations on Emily
Play Primal Peals of Learning
Play Joan in the Fires
Play Song For the Morning
Play Make Me a Home
Play This Love
Play Cicero Thrusts His Head
Play Centurion Hesitates At the Lake
Play For You
Play Secret of Life
Play Everywhere I’ve Been
Play Bonus – Song For the Morning, acoustic

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