Butterfly Lullaby | SATB Chorus, Cello & Vibraphone | 4'
Poet Annie Finch’s text for Butterfly Lullaby includes the beautifully evocative names of real butterflies—”wild indigo duskywing,” “southern cloudywing”— in a haunting lullaby for one, butterfly or child, who will inevitably fly away.
Butterfly Lullaby (as Winged Lullaby) was a winner of the Gregg Smith Choral Composition Contest and was premiered by Syracuse University’s Concert Choir, conducted by Elisa Dekaney.
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My wild indigo dusky wing
my mottled, broad-wing skipper,
a sleepy, dreamy dusty wing,
flying through my night.
My northern, southern, cloudy wing,
my spring azure, my crescent pearl,
a silver-spotted, sweet question mark,
sleeping in my sky.
A tiger swallowtail, harvester,
moving through my hours,
an eyed brown in the redwing dark,
wrapped softly in my words.
First published in Calendars, Tupelo Press, 2003.