Variations on Emily Lyrics

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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, hot 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.

Artist’s note:
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.”

 

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