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Soprano, piano

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"Death" by William Carlos Williams, from The Collected Poems 1909-1939, copyright 1938. Used with permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.

Composer's note:

The song Death was written in 1946 when my brother’s boxer lay sick unto death. I searched for an appropriate poem to give expression to my grief over the demise of this treasured pet. I saw the first version of Williams' poem which was simply:

“He’s dead/ the dog won’t have to sleep/ on his potatoes/
any more to keep them from freezing/ He’s dead”

Immediately the opening sprang into my head; and, it was only after writing that, that I realized the later version of the poem was about a man dying, not a dog. I incorporated that change so never mind that childish error and please accept the song as an expression of the grief of a person confronting death in any form.

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