“Nature, the gentlest mother” is the first of Aaron Copeland’s song set for soprano voice, Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson, orchestrated in 1958. This song holds a special place in my heart as I chose it to end my senior voice recital in college. I fell in love with the piece when I first heard Barbara Bonney sing the set.

The vocals and nature videography were recorded by me this past weekend in Maui, Hawaii, in collaboration with Jennifer Dale’s accompaniment on piano. Traditionally you will hear this piece sung with an operatic sound and robust vocal vibrato. However, I chose to sing it with more of a straight-tone sound for a tender, ethereal feel, which I think goes nicely with Dickinson’s poetry. I hope you will enjoy this performance. 🌿💗

If you have difficulty viewing on post, follow this link to YouTube.

Nature, the gentlest mother: Emily Dickinson

Nature, the gentlest mother,
Impatient of no child,
The feeblest or the waywardest,—
Her admonition mild

In forest and the hill
By traveller is heard,
Restraining rampant squirrel
Or too impetuous bird.

How fair her conversation,
A summer afternoon,—
Her household, her assembly;
And when the sun goes down

Her voice among the aisles
Incites the timid prayer
Of the minutest cricket,
The most unworthy flower.

When all the children sleep
She turns as long away
As will suffice to light her lamps;
Then, bending from the sky,

With infinite affection
And infiniter care,
Her golden finger on her lip,
Wills silence everywhere.

Vocals, photography, and videography by: Katy Claire Funke

29 thoughts on “Nature, the gentlest mother

  1. Just wonderfully creative composition of your own images, your amazing voice, and the music and the poem. You have such talent and beauty; it’s divine to hear and see. 💛

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello dear Katy. I hope you are doing well and staying safe. I would like you to listen to some songs of Alisa Fineman. I knew her when I was station in California. Your voice and her songs. Would be a blessing. She befriended me and always found time to talk to me in the early nineties. Her song, about peace and love. We need more of both. I hope your family is enjoying the days of December. She is singing still on the Monterey coastline.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s