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“Leaves” is the third song in Songs from a Quaker Heart, commissioned and premiered by the Arlington-Belmont Chamber Chorus in 2016.
The poem “Leaves” feels both nostalgic about the passing of the seasons and angry about the disruptions of bad weather. As the text proceeds from nostalgia into frustration, the singers deliver the words as an angry spoken chant, instead of a nostalgic song.
The poem “Leaves” is published in Marian Shapiro’s collection Players in the Dream, Dreamers in the Play (Plain View Press, 2006).
by Marian Kaplun Shapiro
parachuting through the cross-
winds of autumn, dancing
on remembrances of hurricanes
and summer thunderstorms
and spring drenchings and late-
May hail, and last March’s
final blizzard and on intimations of
this winter’s January ice-rain/
snow-showers and puffy mattresses
of softest whitewhitewhite
without surcease. November. You
are leaving. December.
You have left. Where have you gone,
my friend? Where have you
(Copyright Marian Kaplun Shapiro. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.)
The Arlington-Belmont Chamber Chorus, directed by Barry Singer, sings this May 2017 performance.