The Song (after Rilke)

(1993)

"The Song (after Rilke)" is the third song of Paul Salerni's Speaking of Love, which sets three poems of Dana Gioia. The original work is for soprano, viola, piano, and mallet percussion (vibraphone/marimba). There is also an arrangement for soprano, flute and guitar, composed in 2009.

The Song
(after Rilke)
by Dana Gioia


How shall I hold my soul that it
does not touch yours? How shall I lift
it over you to other things?
If it would only sink below
into the dark like some lost thing
or slumber in some quiet place
which did not echo your soft heart’s beat.
But all that ever touched us – you and me –
touched us together
like a bow
that from two strings could draw one voice.
On what instrument were we strung?
And to what player did we sing
our interrupted song?


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