I am the Wind


I am the Wind - (2009)    

Zoë Akins

for soprano and piano


I am the wind that wavers,
    You are the certain land;
I am the shadow that passes
    Over the sand.

I am the leaf that quivers,
    You, the unshaken tree;
You 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" ]

Zoë Akins

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