Heart, We Will Forget Him

"Heart, we will forget him" is the fifth song in Copland's Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson cycle. The song was orchestrated in 1958.

Date: 1950Composer: Aaron CoplandText: Emily DickinsonSong Collection: Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson

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Even with its contemporary tonality, “Heart, We Will Forget Him” has an unmistakable folksong-like quality and genuine simplicity in Copland’s setting. The listener cannot help but feel like a sympathetic observer to a dialogue between the brain and heart of a despairing lover. The song ends clearly: the lover is not (and perhaps never will be) forgotten.

Though Emily Dickinson was never married and became more and more of a recluse throughout her life, no one can deny that she captures a true feeling of loss and heartbreak in this poem.

–Christie Finn



Heart, we will forget him
by Emily Dickinson

Heart, we will forget him
You and I, tonight.
You may forget the warmth he gave,
I will forget the light.

When you have done, pray tell me,
That I my thoughts may dim;
Haste! lest while you’re lagging,
I may remember him!

Related Information


Sheet Music

Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson

Composer(s): Aaron Copland

Song(s): 1. Nature, the Gentlest Mother
2. There Came a Wind Like a Bugle
3. Why Do They Shut Me Out of Heaven?
4. The World Feels Dusty
5. Heart, We Will Forget Him
6. Dear March, Come In!
7. Sleep is Supposed to Be
8. When They Come Back
9. I Felt a Funeral in My Brain
10. I've Heard an Organ Talk Sometimes
11. Going to Heaven!
12. The Chariot

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