"Desire" is the first song of Tom Cipullo's song cycle Another Reason Why I Don't Keep a Gun in the House. The song cycle sets six poems of Billy Collins.


The recording of "Desire," provided in the audio playlist to the right, is made possible through a collaboration with SongFest. The performers are Matthew Morris, baritone, and Sungha Lee, pianist, and the performance took place on June 19, 2010 at Pepperdine University. To listen, click on the track name itself.

by Billy Collins

It would be easier to compile an encyclopedia
for you than to write these longhand letters
whose ink blackens the night. I write
until dawn saying I think the world of you

but they are always too short
like those two-page schoolboy essays
with The History of Mankind
underlined on the front in crayon.

My encyclopedia will ignore the research
of others and rely on personal experience.

--from the collection The Apple that Astonished Paris

Audio PLaylist