Touch Me

"Touch Me" is the third and last song in Tom Cipullo's song cycle Late Summer. "Touch Me" is the final poem of Kunitz's Collected Poems, published in 2000.

The audio for "Touch Me" is made possible through a collaboration between the Hampsong Foundation and SongFest. The performers are Ju Hyeon Han, soprano, and Mark McNeill, piano, and this performance took place at Pepperdine University at SongFest 2010.

Date: 2001Composer: Tom CipulloText: Stanley KunitzSong Collection: Late Summer

Print vitals & song text




    Touch Me
    by Stanley Kunitz

    Summer is late, my heart.
    Words plucked out of the air
    some forty years ago
    when I was wild with love
    and torn almost in two
    scatter like leaves this night
    of whistling wind and rain.
    It is my heart that’s late,
    it is my song that’s flown.
    Outdoors all afternoon
    under a gunmetal sky
    staking my garden down,
    I kneeled to the crickets trilling
    underfoot as if about
    to burst from their crusty shells;
    and like a child again
    marveled to hear so clear
    and brave a music pour
    from such a small machine.
    What makes the engine go?
    Desire, desire, desire.
    The longing for the dance
    stirs in the buried life.
    One season only,
    and it’s done.
    So let the battered old willow
    thrash against the windowpanes
    and the house timbers creak.
    Darling, do you remember
    the man you married? Touch me,
    remind me who I am.

    Related Information


    Sheet Music

    Late Summer

    Composer(s): Tom Cipullo

    Song(s): 1. Crickets
    2. As Summer Into Autumn Slips
    3. Touch Me

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