The Song


"The Song" is the first song of Laitman's cycle Becoming a Redwood, which sets four poems of Dana Gioia. In the poem "The Song," Gioia refers to a poem with the same title by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926).


The performers in the audio recording, provided in the player to the right, are Barbara Quintiliani, soprano, and Lori Laitman, piano. Used with the composer's permission. To listen, please click on the track name itself.

The Song
The Song
by Dana Gioia

How shall I hold my soul that it
does not touch yours? How shall I lift
it over you to other things?
If it would only sink below
into the dark like some lost thing
or slumber in some quiet place
which did not echo your soft heart's beat.
But all that ever touched us--you and me--
touched us together

like a bow
that from two strings could draw one voice.
On what instrument were we strung?
And to what player did we sing
our interrupted song?

(After Rilke)

(Source: The Gods of Winter, Graywolf Press, 1991)

Audio PLaylist