New Piece: Desert Pools

Oh my flippin’ heck it’s done! Holy moly that was painful and long.

I love the poetry of Sara Teasdale (1884-1933) and have found so many beautiful poems by her.  There are a few of her poems that have been set to music (by a large number of composers) but she has numerous poems that get overlooked and cry out to be set to music.  “Desert Pools,” in my opinion, is one of them:

“I love too much; I am a river
Surging with spring that seeks the sea,
I am too generous a giver,
Love will not stoop to drink of me.

His feet will turn to desert places
Shadowless, reft of rain and dew,
Where stars stare down with sharpened faces
From heavens pitilessly blue.

And there at midnight sick with faring,
He will stoop down in his desire
To slake the thirst grown past all bearing
In stagnant water keen as fire.”

These words moved me so much; It’s teeming with energy and life and I couldn’t ignore it.  I knew that I needed to set it to music.  That was over a year ago.  I finished “Water Lilies,” “In Paradisum,” and “Crux Fidelis” during the time I spent writing this.  I don’t know why, but this had to marinate for a year.

Whenever I finish a piece I feel that I make at least one or two breakthroughs in my writing.  Every breakthrough helps me become a better writer but can mean quite a bit of pain and anxiety.  I had probably five or six with this one.

I see this as a companion piece with “Water Lilies,” and hope to see them performed side by side one day.

Here’s the first page . . . still some stuff to do: