Briefly It Enters, and Briefly Speaks

(1996)

"Briefly It Enters, and Briefly Speaks" is the ninth and final song of William Bolcom's song cycle Briefly It Enters, which sets nine poems of Jane Kenyon.

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The audio recording of "Briefly It Enters, and Briefly Speaks" from Briefly It Enters, provided in the audio playlist to the right, is made possible through a collaboration between the Hampsong Foundation and SongFest. The performers are Rachel Schutz, soprano, and Tomasz Lis, piano, and the performance took place at SongFest 2012 at The Colburn School. To listen, please click on the track name itself.

Briefly It Enters, and Briefly Speaks

Briefly It Enters, and Briefly Speaks
by Jane Kenyon


I am the blossom pressed in a book,
found again after two hundred years. . . .


I am the maker, the lover, and the keeper. . . .


When the young girl who starves
sits down to a table
she will sit beside me. . . .


I am food on the prisoner's plate. . . .


I am water rushing to the wellhead,
filling the pitcher until it spills. . . .


I am the patient gardener
of the dry and weedy garden. . . .


I am the stone step,
the latch, and the working hinge. . . .


I am the heart contracted by joy. . .
the longest hair, white
before the rest. . . .


I am there in the basket of fruit
presented to the widow. . . .


I am the musk rose opening
unattended, the fern on the boggy summit. . . .


I am the one whose love
overcomes you, already with you
when you think to call my name. . . .


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