There's a Certain Slant of Light

(1992)

"There's a Certain Slant of Light" is the fifth song of Richard Pearson Thomas' song cycle At Last, To Be Identified. The cycle sets the poetry of Emily Dickinson.

There's a Certain Slant of Light
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.


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