The Song

"The Song" sets a poem of Dana Gioia and was premiered at the Hellas Festival in New York City.
"The Song" was published in Gioia's volume The Gods of Winter in 1991.

For visitors interested in obtaining the score to this song, please contact [email protected].

Date: 1994Composer: Alva HendersonText: Dana Gioia

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)




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