Posts Tagged ‘song’

The Forest Within

July 16, 2018

SueSusmanBook

My sister Sue Susman recently published a new collection of poetry called The Forest Within. This stunning work spans several decades. Her poetry touches on the sublime as well as everyday occurrences with language that is direct and natural. There are many wonderful testimonials to Sue’s poetry, and this one especially rings true:

“These poems are the voice of courage, so much more courageous because it dares to be tender. An honesty that finds simplicity in its many layers, a silence that sings, filling the sky.” – Louise Cloutier, Women’s PowerVoice.

The connection to Sue’s poetry goes back many years. Some of the poems in this book I set to music, first in the song cycle Moving In To An Empty Space and then, with Scatter My Ashes.

The collection opens with a poem from the song cycle and eponymous album title Scatter My Ashes.

Even in the Dark

The forest breathes in and out
as I sleep and curl
like a cat snuggled into a bigger sleeping body.
Even in the dark,
I wake
and see light from above,
the moon burning into black earth.
Stars,
glittering chips of glass,
scatter in a strange design.
I keep my eyes open until morning.

Listen to more of Sue’s poetry set to song on the album Scatter My Ashes at Amazon, iTunes, Spotify et al:

 

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Setting a Poem to Music

June 15, 2014

Title Track from OCTET ensemble’s album debut featuring soprano Mellissa Hughes.

The poem Scatter My Ashes is by my sister Sue Susman. I originally set this poem for voice and piano. It was subsequently arranged for OCTET ensemble. I like the sound of these words, their message and the movement they create in their meaning and  story. I try to let the music capture the narrative’s essence sculpting words into motion.

Scatter my ashes before I die.
Let me blow and fade
in the wind
over water
into nothing.
Watch me dissolve in air.
Scatter my old bones.
I am keeping the young ones
fresh, strong the blood circles
and weaves me into a whole piece
with long slender red thread
buried under my skin.

copyright © 1984 – 87 by Sue Susman. All Rights Reserved.