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Not Even the Rain

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1996

  • September 8, 1996
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FOR MEDIUM OR HIGH VOICE AND PIANO

 

Text by e.e. cummings (1996)

Dedicated to Judith Bettina

 

Premiere: June 5, 1997; Christ Saint Stephens Church, New York; Judith Bettina, soprano; James Goldsworthy, piano

Duration: 5’

 

 

not even the rain

from e.e. Cummings’ “somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond”

 

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond

any experience,your eyes have their silence:

in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,

or which i cannot touch because they are too near

 

your slightest look easily will unclose me

though i have closed myself as fingers,

you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens

(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

 

or if your wish be to close me,i and

my life will shut very beautifully,suddenly,

as when the heart of this flower imagines

the snow carefully everywhere descending;

 

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals

the power of your intense fragility:whose texture

compels me with the colour of its countries,

rendering death and forever with each breathing

 

(i do not know what it is about you that

closes and opens;only something in me understands

the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)

nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

 

Text “somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond” from COMPLETE POEMS: 1904-1962, by E.E. Cummings, edited by George J. Firmage, is used with the permission of Liveright Publishing Corporation. © 1931, 1959, 1991 by the Trustees for the E.E. Cummings Trust. © 1979 by George James Firmage.

For medium or high voice and piano
5’