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And Sure Stars Shining
Composed by Z. Randall Stroope
Catalog number: AMP 1084
SATB version: AMP 1085
AND SURE STARS SHINING…
About the work…
There will be rest, and sure stars shining,
I will make this world of my devising,
One of the many characteristics of a great poem is that it spawns multiple interpretations - words that speak on many levels to a wide audience. Such is the case with this poem by Sara Teasdale. In my view, the “person” in the poem, realizing there is a beautiful world ahead with “sure stars shining” and peace as pure as “crystal,” quickens their footsteps to that place where they will “make a world of their own devising,” pure as fresh snow on roof-tops, and as wonderful as a traveler among the stars. It is, in fact, a sense of freedom and realized destiny from the deepest place in one's soul. It is euphoric. This musical setting seeks to capture that internal ecstasy and “beyond this world utopia” that was the reality Sara Teasdale so wanted, and seemingly never achieved. “Music holy and low” is a metaphor for her “quiet” assurance that a better world waits ahead.
Secondly, I believe the real essence of the poem is in the resolution of her quest - “I will make this world of my devising” and “I shall find” peace and “I shall find” stars. Passion is not just a momentary infatuation, flare-up or daydream. True passion is ever churning and active, giving focus and meaning to life - a tugging, constant driving force that clarifies one's vision and “mission” every day. The first stanza of the poem is the description of a better place (the “noun”), but the “verb” in the poem is the second stanza - “I will make the world of my devising.” Teasdale chose this passionate and resolute stanza to end this poem. Hence, this musical setting is actively stirring, and embraces a hope that dreams may someday become a reality.
About the composer…
To hear an mp4 recording of And Sure Stars Shining click here.
recording performed by Oklahoma State University Concert Chorale Women
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