I Write This Poem Out Of Darkness

SSA, flute, violin, piano

In George Ella Lyon's poem, "Growing Light," an isolated poet reaches out to an imagined reader, offering encouragement and solidarity. Elizabeth Alexander's expressive musical setting reflects this sense of solitude and strength, featuring prominent vocal and instrumental solos. A moving musical testimony to art's ability to speak the truth, transcending the limitations of time and space.


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Catalog Number: 
Commissioned By: 
Women's Works. Ithaca, NY

Jezic Ensemble; Margie Farmer, conductor. College of Notre Dame, Baltimore, MD


"Alexander's writing for women's chorus is especially good, and...her settings of subjects relating to women's issues are exceptionally strong." David N. Lewis, All Music Guide

Text Author or Source: 
George Ella Lyon

"Growing Light"
Poem by George Ella Lyon

I write this poem
out of darkness
to you
who are also in darkness
because our lives demand it.

This poem is a hand on your shoulder
a bone touch to go with you
through the hard birth of vision.
In other words, love
shapes this poem
is the fist that holds the chisel,
muscle that drags marble
and burns with the weight
of believing a face
lives in the stone
a breathing word in the body.

I tell you
though the darkness
has been ours
words will give us
give our eyes, opened in promise
a growing light.

Copyright 1994 by George Ella Lyon.
Reprinted by permission of the author.