A Square Poem
for medium voice and piano
often wondered when I cursed,
Often feared where I would be—
Wondered where she'd yield her love,
When I yield, so will she.
I would her will be pitied!
Cursed be love! She pitied me ...
1 page, circa 1' 15"
Thinking "inside the box" upends the modern parlance of thinking
outside that very same box, whatever box is meant. The term, square, for
the poem means something a little different. One may read the lines in
Of course, the punctuation and number of syllables per word alter the
scansion word-to-word. Because this poem which also carries an emotional
flavor and as such is more than a trick, it suggested a setting
"thinking inside the box." One notes that written in poetic form, the
"square" is not immediately apparent.
The "square" is depicted musically by notated "boxes" in the right hand,
with an additional sustained line beneath. Because of normal
proportional spacing for a variety of musical and textual reasons,
the "square" is most nearly approached as in the second half of measure
The harmonic succession of chords is wholly diatonic as is the vocal
part, a "row" of sorts - E, E, D, C, B, A, G, F. For the diatonic
character and varying numbers of syllables per word, the vocal phrases
pick out their own overall arch, and the whole song is a progression of
dynamics from soft to loud, in character with Carroll's last line,
exclamation mark and incomplete last thought ending with....
The box pictured above is similar to the "illustration" which is found
when I had been thinking about
. For other settings of Lewis Carroll's texts, click
The score for
A Square Poem is available as a free PDF download, though any major
commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior
arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this
A Square Poem