After great pain, a formal feeling comes —

(1990)

"After great pain, a formal feeling comes —" is the tenth song in Leo Smit's song cycle Beyond Circumference. Beyond Circumference is the fourth of Smit's six song cycles setting the poetry of Emily Dickinson.

For more information about Leo Smit's Emily Dickinson song cycles, please visit the pages for The Ecstatic Pilgrimage and Leo Smit.

For inquiries about Leo Smit and to obtain sheet music, please contact Nils Vigeland at [email protected]

After great pain, a formal feeling comes — (poem 341)
by Emily Dickinson


After great pain, a formal feeling comes —
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs —
The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?


The Feet, mechanical, go round —
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought —
A Wooden way
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone —


This is the Hour of Lead —
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow —
First — Chill — then Stupor — then the letting go —


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