Love Song


Love Song - (2011)    

Harriet Monroe

for soprano or mezzo soprano and piano

for Julie Penner

I love my life, but not too well
To give it to thee like a flower,
So it may pleasure thee to dwell
Deep in its perfume but an hour.
I love my life, but not too well.

I love my life, but not too well
To sing it note by note away,
So to thy soul the song may tell
The beauty of the desolate day.
I love my life, but not too well.

I love my life, but not too well
To cast it like a cloak on thine,
Against the storms that sound and swell
Between thy lonely heart and mine.
I love my life, but not too well.

3 pages, circa 2' 30"

Harriet Monroe


Harriet Monroe (1860-1936) was an American editor, scholar, literary critic, poet and patron of the arts. She was the founding  publisher and editor of Poetry Magazine, begun in 1912. As such she encouraged many poets, among them Ezra Pound, H. D., T. S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, Carl Sandburg. This text if first found in Poetry: A Magazine of Verse. 1912–22. I came across the text, published anew in Dover's Great Poems by American Women, 1998, edited by Susan Rattiner, and set it while enjoying the morning's coffee and thinking over its most interesting perspective.



The seeming simplicity of the setting belies a developmental approach to the strophes, such that the second stanza is a variant of the first yet up a minor third though the tessitura of the vocal line remains the same. The third is another lightly variant return to the tonic. The editions are for either soprano or mezzo soprano, as desired.





The score for Love Song 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.



Love Song              Love Song

E major                C major