The Song

"The Song" is the first song of Laitman's cycle Becoming a Redwood, which sets four poems of Dana Gioia. In the poem "The Song," Gioia refers to a poem with the same title by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926).

The performers in the audio recording are Barbara Quintiliani, soprano, and Lori Laitman, piano. Used with the composer's permission.

Date: 2003Composer: Lori LaitmanText: Dana GioiaSong Collection: Becoming a Redwood

Print vitals & song text


The Song
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?

(After Rilke)

(Source: The Gods of Winter, Graywolf Press, 1991)




    Sheet Music

    Becoming a Redwood (High voice)

    Composer(s): Lori Laitman

    Song(s): 1. The Song
    2. Pentecost
    3. Curriculum Vitae
    4. Becoming a Redwood

    Voice Type: High

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