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Sop, pf

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The Memory Tree (Anne Tallon)
Three things (W.B. Yeats)
A Woman to her Lover (Christina Walshe)

Two of the songs in Voices of Women were set to lyrics written by women. The Memory Tree, a reminiscence of a girl's childhood love and loss, was written by the contemporary New York poet, Anne Tallon.

Three Things was written by a man in a woman's voice. Yeats, in this extraordinarily moving poem, expresses a dead woman's longing for life. It is published in his volume The Winding Stair, under the sub-title Words for Music Perhaps. Yeats said that he didn't write the poems "so much that they be sung, as that I may define their kind of emotion to myself. I want them to be all emotional and all impersonal."  The third stanza presents a question of meaning in the phrase "and did after stretch and yawn."  Yeats uses this image in this and other poems to indicate sexual arousal, which she feels here after meeting her "rightful man." 

Christina Walshe was born in 1888, in England.  A Woman to Her Lover and four other poems by her were set to music by the then famous English composer Rutland Boughton, under the title Songs of Womanhood.  She came of age at a  time of great activity in the area of women's rights. Universal suffrage was finally achieved in the United Kingdom in 1928. She died in Vence, France in 1959 where she was teaching.

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