The Artist

"The Artist" is a song for baritone and piano by composer Anna Weesner setting the poetry of William Carlos Williams.

The song was commissioned by SongFest and underwritten by Marcia Brown. The world premiere took place on June 14, 2004 with Sang-Yun Yoon, baritone, and Kate Stevens, piano.

Date: 2004Composer: Anna WeesnerText: William Carlos Williams

Print vitals & song text


The Artist
by William Carlos Williams

Mr T.
in a soiled undershirt
his hair standing out
on all sides
stood on his toes
heels together
arms gracefully
for the moment

curled above his head.
Then he whirled about
into the air
and with an entrechat
perfectly achieved
completed the figure.
My mother
taken by surprise
where she sat
in her invalid’s chair
was left speechless.
Bravo! she cried at last
and clapped her hands.
The man’s wife
came from the kitchen:
What goes on here? she said.
But the show was over.

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