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The Wonder of It

(SSAA, piano) 2'00"



A spirited exclamation on the amazing mystery of life. The piano accompaniment provides a cackling commentary and an enigmatic undergirding for the text. May be performed as part of a set of three. Level: Advanced.



Listen (mp3, 2.93 MB; Cantala of Lawrence University, Appleton, WI; Phillip Swan conducting)



Listen and View: Livestream performance of the work's premiere at Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin, on November 9, 2012 by their fine women's chorus, Cantala, under the direction of Phillip Swan. Scroll 38:26 into the performance.



View PDF



Choral Score: $1.95 Add to Cart





Composer's Notes:

The Wonder of It is the second setting in the collection That Life Should Be! (Three Settings of American Women Poets), commissioned in 2011 by a consortium of intermediate and advanced treble choirs across the country. The individual titles are: The Grass So Little Has To Do (text by Emily Dickinson), The Wonder of It (text by Harriet Monroe), and A Birthday (text by Christina Rosetti).




by Harriet Monroe (1860-1936)


How wild, how witch-like weird that life should be!
That the insensate rock dared dream of me,
And take to bursting out and burgeoning --
  Oh, long ago -- yo ho! --
And wearing green! How stark and strange a thing
That life should be!

Oh, mystic mad, a rigadoon of glee,
That dust should rise, and leap alive, and flee
A-foot, a-wing, and shake the deeps with cries --
  Oh far away -- yo-hay!
What moony masque, what arrogant disguise
That life should be!