‘I Am in Need of Music’ by Elizabeth Bishop


I am in need of music that would flow
Over my fretful, feeling fingertips,
Over my bitter-tainted, trembling lips,
With melody, deep, clear, and liquid-slow.
Oh, for the healing swaying, old and low,
Of some song sung to rest the tired dead,
A song to fall like water on my head,
And over quivering limbs, dream flushed to glow!
There is a magic made by melody:
A spell of rest, and quiet breath, and cool
Heart, that sinks through fading colors deep
To the subaqueous stillness of the sea,
And floats forever in a moon-green pool,
Held in the arms of rhythm and of sleep.

~ Elizabeth Bishop (1911 – 1979)


Here’s a lovely melody written and performed by the classically-trained duo, Eric Tingstad and Nancy Rumbel that ties in nicely with Bishops’ poem. ‘Homeland’ is a song from Tingstad and Nancy’s 1990 album of the same name. Tingstad plays the fingerstyle guitar and Rumbel the oboe and the double ocarina.

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