A Certain Slant of Light

"A Certain Slant of Light" is a song by Joseph Turrin setting the poetry of Emily Dickinson.

Date: 1972Composer: Joseph TurrinText: Emily Dickinson

Print vitals & song text


There’s a certain slant of light (poem 31)
by Emily Dickinson

There’s a certain slant of light,
On winter afternoons,
That oppresses, like the weight
Of cathedral tunes.

Heavenly hurt it gives us ;
We can find no scar,
But internal difference
Where the meanings are.

None may teach it anything,
‘T is the seal, despair,—
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the air.

When it comes, the landscape listens,
Shadows hold their breath ;
When it goes, ‘t is like the distance
On the look of death.

Support us and help us grow

Dear friends, Thank you for helping us build a comprehensive online archive of American song. Your gift is greatly appreciated.