top of page

A Hush You Could See | Soprano & Clarinet | 12'

A Hush You Could See features poetry by Robin Myers, a 2023 National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellow. This song cycle is dedicated to soprano Alicia Waller and was premiered by Harriet Fraser, soprano and Amanda Walker, clarinet. A Hush You Could See was recorded on Trumbore’s album The Gleam (Vickette Records, 2023) featuring soprano Gillian Hollis and clarinetist Margaret Worsley.

Purchase this score on Graphite Marketplace.

1. I woke so early (from A HUSH YOU COULD SEE)


I woke so early 

that the blue light 

hadn’t yet become a substance, 

was still more 

of a hush

 you could see, 


and I heard the cat 

communicating with 

the curtains, saw 

the shadows of my objects 

all around, things 

gifted or acquired, 

softened by years of seeing them, 


felt again 

the shock of joy in my chest 

as a challenge 

to be honored, 

without ever having truly 

learned how— 


In the way of the sweet blues 

that goes 

I’m so glad, 

I’m so glad, 

I’m glad, 

I’m glad, 

I’m glad. 


I don’t know what to do, 

I don’t know what to do,

 I don’t 

know what 

to do. 


—Robin Myers 


2. For awhile I tried writing it all down (from A HUSH YOU COULD SEE) 


For awhile I tried writing it all down: 


birds glimpsed on walks, 

meals shared or not, 

novels dog-eared, 

animal organs skidded 

into pavement, 


things that shifted across 

my father’s face in the months 

of his illness, 

neighbors and what I heard them shout 

to their children, 

meteorological surprises, 

what day it was, 

what time. 


It was infuriating. 

It never stopped. 


Everything’s just a fucking catalogue, I snapped 

to my friend the biologist, 

as if insulting his mother. 

He looked up at me from the garden, 

smiling, full of dirt. 



he said. 


—Robin Myers


3. When I sleep in the language I forgot (from A HUSH YOU COULD SEE) 


When I sleep in the language I forgot 

and wake, it’s like kicking to the surface with the sun 

slanting in through the water, 

it’s like the memory of being under it,

it’s like the weight, it’s like finding the air again,

breathing, the body 

already forgetting again 

what it was like, being there. 


—Robin Myers

Similar to A Hush You Could See:

This Thirst in the Lungs

What Only Poetry Can Do

bottom of page