Moving Poems’ latest in-house production attempts to put Emily Dickinson’s famous poem in its historical context. I used clips from a public-domain educational film, “Civil War,” by Encyclopaedia Brittanica Films, 1954, from the Prelinger Archives, and found an excellent recording of a wood thrush at the equally invaluable freesound.org. But the most essential ingredient here, I think, was the reading by Nic S.. As Julie Martin put it in a comment on my blog post introducing the video,
Nic’s reading is masterful. Dickinson is so condensed and elliptical that her work seems impossible to read aloud, much like the unplayable late string quartets of Beethoven. But Nic invests each word with a different weight; she doesn’t play with expectations, but transcends them.