Touch Me

(2001)

"Touch Me" is the third and last song in Tom Cipullo's song cycle Late Summer. "Touch Me" is the final poem of Kunitz's Collected Poems, published in 2000.

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The audio for "Touch Me," provided in the media player to the right, is made possible through a collaboration between the Hampsong Foundation and SongFest. The performers are Ju Hyeon Han, soprano, and Mark McNeill, piano, and this performance took place at Pepperdine University at SongFest 2010. To listen, please click on the track name itself.

Touch Me
by Stanley Kunitz


Summer is late, my heart.
Words plucked out of the air
some forty years ago
when I was wild with love
and torn almost in two
scatter like leaves this night
of whistling wind and rain.
It is my heart that's late,
it is my song that's flown.
Outdoors all afternoon
under a gunmetal sky
staking my garden down,
I kneeled to the crickets trilling
underfoot as if about
to burst from their crusty shells;
and like a child again
marveled to hear so clear
and brave a music pour
from such a small machine.
What makes the engine go?
Desire, desire, desire.
The longing for the dance
stirs in the buried life.
One season only,
and it's done.
So let the battered old willow
thrash against the windowpanes
and the house timbers creak.
Darling, do you remember
the man you married? Touch me,
remind me who I am.


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