Open House

(1975)

"Open House" is the first song in William Bolcom's cycle Open House. The cycle is for tenor (or soprano) and orchestra. A version for tenor or soprano and two pianists has also been published.

Open House

Open House
by Theodore Roethke


My secrets cry aloud.
I have no need for tongue.
My heart keeps open house,
My doors are widely swung.
An epic of the eyes
My love, with no disguise.


My truths are all foreknown,
This anguish self-revealed.
I'm naked to the bone.
With nakedness my shield.
Myself is what I wear.
I keep the spirit spare.


The anger will endure.
The deed will speak the truth.
In language strict and pure.
I stop the lying mouth:
Rage warps my clearest cry
To witless agony.


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