I would not paint — a picture —

(1990)

"I would not paint — a picture —" is the fifth song in Leo Smit's song cycle The White Diadem. The White Diadem is the last 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, please contact Nils Vigeland at [email protected]

I would not paint — a picture — (poem 505)
by Emily Dickinson


I would not paint — a picture —
I'd rather be the One
Its bright impossibility
To dwell — delicious — on —
And wonder how the fingers feel
Whose rare — celestial — stir —
Evokes so sweet a Torment —
Such sumptuous — Despair —


I would not talk, like Cornets —
I'd rather be the One
Raised softly to the Ceilings —
And out, and easy on —
Through Villages of Ether —
Myself endued Balloon
By but a lip of Metal —
The pier to my Pontoon —


Nor would I be a Poet —
It's finer — own the Ear —
Enamored — impotent — content —
The License to revere,
A privilege so awful
What would the Dower be,
Had I the Art to stun myself
With Bolts of Melody!


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