I am the Wind - (2009)
for soprano and piano
I am the wind that wavers,
You are the certain land;
I am the shadow that passes
Over the sand.
the leaf that quivers,
You, the unshaken tree;
are the stars that are steadfast,
I am the sea.
You are the light eternal--
Like a torch I shall die.
You are the surge of deep music,
I but a cry!
[ 3 pages, circa 2' 25" ]
Born in Humansville, Missouri, Akins (1886 - 1958) was a poet, playwright
and screenwriter, and critic for magazines and newspapers early in her
career. Her early plays garnered attention, and were adapted for film. In
1935 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her dramatization of
Edith Wharton's The Old Maid. More screenplays followed, including
Camille in 1936 starring Greta Garbo. In 1953, Jean Negulesco directed
an adaptation of Akins' The Greeks Had a Word for It, re-titled as
How to Marry a Millionaire, became a box office sensation and helped
launch the career of its star, Marilyn Monroe. In all, Akins wrote 40 plays,
the earliest being her comedy Papa in 1914, and contributed to 15
films throughout her career.
These three strophes are handled equally, the first two by a simple repeat,
and the last after a short interlude. The onrushing eighth notes of the
opening yield up their agitation to the longer chords as the "other" is
described, for the "I" and "you" are seen as complimentary, united while
dissimilar. Is this a picture of a human relationship or a relationship to
the true "eternal?" That is left up to the listener, through any reading or
performance of this text set to song.
The short coda simply repeats the confession that the speaker is indeed "a
cry," rising to the tonic as a cry. No ritardando is noted for the
ending should be abrupt, the last gesture hanging in the air after the
song's conclusion as if an unanswered question.
The score for I am the Wind 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 piano-vocal score.
I am the Wind