i'm so drunGk, dear

 

 

i'm so drunGk, dear - (2007)    

E. E. Cummings

for medium voice and piano


 

the
nimble
heat
had

long on a certain
taut precarious
holiday
frighteningly

performed
and
at tremont and bromfield i
paused a moment because

on the frying
curb the
quiet face
lay

which had been dorothy
and once
permitted
me for

twenty
iron
men
her common purple

soul
the absurd eyelids sulked
enormous
sobs puckered the foolish

breasts the
droll
mouth
wilted

and not old, harry, a
woman in the crowd
whinnied and a man squeezing her
wrist said

the cop's rung for the
wagon but as i was
lifting the horror
of her toylike

head and vainly
tried to
catch one funny
hand opening the hard great

eyes to noone in particular she
gasped almost
loudly
i'm

so drunG

k, dear

[ 4 pages, circa 3' 40" ]


E. E. Cummings

 

 

The first poem of Portraits (published in 1923) setting begins with a stark, empty picture as of a hot day. Stillness, which is broken by the stillness of a woman "which had once been dorothy." Is the reader to think her dead, or merely "dead to the world?" The range of the voice is shown in the first gestures, broadly essaying the text over a stark accompaniment. As the drunk Dorothy begins to awaken from her stupor, "enormous sobs" tell of some emotional travail which perhaps preceded the drunkenness.

 

 

 At this point the stillness of the accompaniment yields to a structured 4/4 gesture which is not so much a progression of chords as a "holding in place" for what is to come. As the central yet unnamed character tries to help Dorothy, she awakens further with the bawdily blurted "i'm so drunGk, dear." The capitalized "G" in the word is meant to be vocalized as a second syllable in the one-syllable word, drunk.

 

 

 

The score 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'm so drunGk, dear