Music and Texts of Gary Bachlund



Peace - (2010) 

Sara Teasdale

for medium or low voice and piano


Peace flows into me
As the tide to the pool by the shore;
It is mine forevermore,
It ebbs not back like the sea.

I am the pool of blue
That worships the vivid sky;
My hopes were heaven-high,
They are all fulfilled in you.

I am the pool of gold
When sunset burns and dies, --
You are my deepening skies,
Give me your stars to hold.

[ 3 pages, circa 3' 40" ]

Sara Teasdale


The text comes from 1917, in the collection Love Songs. While the poems cover a range of expression, one finds this text evasive when considering the object of the pronoun, "you."  In 1913, her biographies tells us she contemplated suicide over a failed romantic relationship, and, more to the point, her poem, Barter, tells us that she seems to have concluded that indeed "life has loveliness to sell." One might therefore read into the object of the poem possibilities, and perhaps more than one, such as God, a wife or lover, the birth of a child, or even the depths in the relationship to a good friend. One need not answer the query, so much as contemplate, as her art suggests more than one reading.



The pendulum between D flat and F minor swings, to come to a rest on B flat major. Schoenberg made a distinction between progressions and successions of chords, and in this I think his image incorrect. The successive footsteps by measure rock back and forth from D flat major to F minor, coming then to rest in some "progress" at B flat, and then to repeat the same path again.



The score for Peace 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.