The Thing With Feathers (2000)
Performance: Carol Lundergan, mezzo-soprano; Ed Lundergan, tenor; James Fitzwilliam, piano
Notes: Set of four songs for mezzo soprano, tenor and piano. Poems by Emily Dickinson (used with permission).
"Hope" is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
Iíve heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest sea,
Yet never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
The soul selects her own society
Then shuts the door
On her divine majority
Obtrude no more.
She notes the chariotís pausing
At her low gate
An emperor is kneeling
Upon her mat.
Iíve known her from an ample nation
Then close the valves of her attention
A word is dead
When it is said
I say it
just begins to live
Iím nobody! Who are You?
Are You Nobody, too?
Then thereís a pair of us -
Donít tell! Theyíd banish us, you know!
How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!