Emily Dickinson (1830-86) is universally recognized as one of the most important literary voices of the American experience. Her poems have attracted many composers, and Aaron Copland’s “Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson” are some of the finest musical settings of Dickinson in the American song repertory.
We are pleased to share a video of Katie Elizabeth Martin singing Copland’s “Why do they shut me out of Heaven?” This live performance is from our recent AMERICAN PILGRIMAGE concert at the Brand Library in Glendale, CA. (Photo courtesy of Taso Papadakis.)
EMILY DICKINSON (American, 1830-86)
Why—do they shut Me out of Heaven?
Did I sing—too loud?
But—I can say a little “Minor”
Timid as a Bird!
Wouldn’t the Angels try me—
Just—see—if I troubled them—
But don’t—shut the door!
Oh, if I—were the Gentleman
In the “White Robe”—
And they—were the little Hand—that knocked—