The End

Published in 2008 for the first time in Rorem's 50 Collected Songs, "The End," which sets a poem of Dana Gioia from 1986, was written in March of 2003 and premiered the same year at American University.

Date: 2003Composer: Ned RoremText: Dana Gioia

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The End
by Dana Gioia

Last night I dreamed the end had come.
Silent, impotent, invisible as air,
I stood by in a hundred places:
a stranger’s house, a city street, an office and a garden–
and like a sleeper shaken from a dream
I witnessed what I could not understand.

A woman washing dishes at a sink
looked out her window calmly as she heard
something unexpected in the air.
Men on the sidewalk, drivers in the street
observed the weather in a cloudless sky
and kept going.
In an office clerks and secretaries glanced up
at the clock without remembering the time.

I saw the same cold profile everywhere at once–
a pale face looking up against the light,
then bending down again indifferently,
only this dull reflex of acceptance,
then nothing else, nothing ever again.

Books

Interrogations at Noon

By Dana Gioia

The Gods of Winter

By Dana Gioia

Sheet Music

50 Collected Songs

Composer(s): Ned Rorem

Song(s): Clouds
Love
Alleluia
The End
Chromatic Fantasy
For Susan
Orchids
Psalm 150
The Nightingale
Absalom
A Birthday
A Child Asleep in Its Own Life
Conversation
A Journey
The Land of Fear
Little Elegy
The Lordly Hudson
Nantucket
O Do Not Love Too Long
On a Little Bird
Poem for F.
The Serpent
Shelley's Vision
The Sick Wife
Spring (Hopkins)
Spring (Koch)
The Waking
What if some little pain...
While Sodom was occupied
A Glimpse
He Thinks Upon His Death
Philomel
Rain in Spring
You, the young Rainbow
Early in the Morning
Are you the new person?
Catullus: on the Burial of His Brother
Ferry me across the water
I strolled across an open field
I will always love you
Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair
Look down, fair moon
Love in a Life
On a Singing Girl
Sometimes with one I love
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Such beauty as hurts to behold
That shadow, my likeness
To a Young Girl
Visits to St. Elizabeths

Voice Type: High & Medium/Low

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