© 2019 by Daniel Whitworth

Of this night (2018)
for wind ensemble

Recording coming in spring 2020

The title of this piece, “Of this night,” is a phrase from one of my favorite poems by E.E. Cummings titled A Connotation of Infinity. To me, this poem is about the crushing weight of existentialism and how, despite its capacity to be overwhelming, there is great beauty in considering the infinite nature of the universe. We are part of something much larger than ourselves, and what lies beyond, while greater than we can possibly comprehend, isn’t something to fear. The “perpetualness” of the universe is sublime, vivacious, and even gentle. “Of this night” explores some of these different facets of the universe by juxtaposing its awe-inspiring power with its delicate beauty and playfulness.

A Connotation of Infinity

E.E. Cummings

 

a connotation of infinity
sharpens the temporal splendor of this night

when souls which have forgot frivolity
in lowliness, noting the fatal flight
of worlds whereto this earth’s a hurled dream

down eager avenues of lifelessness

consider for how much themselves shall gleam,
in the poised radiance of perpetualness.
When what’s in velvet beyond doomed thought

is like a woman amorous to be known;
and man, whose here is always worse than naught,
feels the tremendous yonder for his own—

on such a night the sea through her blind miles

of crumbling silence seriously smiles