Peonies at Dusk(1996)
"Peonies at Dusk" is the eighth song of William Bolcom's song cycle Briefly It Enters, which sets nine poems of Jane Kenyon.
The audio recording of "Who" 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 the 2012 SongFest Sorel Fellow 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.
Peonies at Dusk
by Jane Kenyon
White peonies blooming along the porch
send out light
while the rest of the yard grows dim.
Outrageous flowers as big as human
heads! They're staggered
by their own luxuriance: I had
to prop them up with stakes and twine.
The moist air intensifies their scent,
and the moon moves around the barn
to find out what it's coming from.
In the darkening June evening
I draw a blossom near, and bending close
search it as a woman searches
a loved one's face.