for SSAA treble voices and Piano
text by Sara Teasdale
Commissioned by John Spiezio III and the Paul D. Schriber High School Women's Chorus
I AM was written for treble chorus and Piano in 2016 and revised in 2017 to include
more divisions in the vocal parts. The text is a setting of the “The Cloud” and “Peace”
two poems by 20 th century American poet Sara Teasdale. I was initially drawn to these
two poems because they both contain the repeated phrase “I am” as a recurring literary
motif. The work is one of my most simple compositions, my intent is for the music to
guide the listener through Teasdale’s beautiful poetry and let the text speak for itself.
Both movements feature similar themes of action vs. rest, freedom vs. limits, light vs.
dark, and natural vs. internal peace.
I. "The Cloud"
I am a cloud in the heaven's height,
The stars are lit for my delight,
Tireless and changeful, swift and free,
I cast my shadow on hill and sea--
But why do the pines on the mountain's crest
Call to me always, "Rest, rest?"
I throw my mantle over the moon
And I blind the sun on his throne at noon,
Nothing can tame me, nothing can bind,
I am a child of the heartless wind--
But oh the pines on the mountain's crest
Whispering always, "Rest, rest."
Peace flows into me
As the tide to the pool by the shore;
It is mine forevermore,
It ebbs not back like the sea.
I am the pool of blue
That worships the vivid sky;
My hopes were heaven-high,
They are all fulfilled in you.
I am the pool of gold
When sunset burns and dies--
You are my deepening skies,
Give me your stars to hold.