Four Trees

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Setting of Emily Dickinson
Bonnie Scarpelli, Soprano
Judith Quimby, Piano

These Emily Dickinson settings were my first real vocal compositions after having spent a good bit of my time writing for the theater and they set me on my path of concentrating on vocal and dramatic work.  As I chanced to open my book of the Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson one day, they seemed to me to be little dramas in themselves, and that has been my approach in setting them to music.




Four Trees-upon a solitary Acre-

Without Design

Or Order, or Apparent Action-



The Sun-upon a Morning meets them-

The Wind-

No nearer Neighbor-have they-

But God-


The Acre gives them-Place-

They-Him-Attention of Passer by-

Of Shadow, or of Squirrel, haply-

Or Boy-


What Deed is Theirs unto the General Nature-

What Plan

They severally-retard-or further-



Text Permission
Poems by Emily Dickinson used by arrangement with the publishers and the Trustees of Amherst College from THE POEMS OF EMILY DICKINSON, Thomas H. Johnson, ed., Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Copyright 1951, 1955, 1979, 1983 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved.