Returning | SATB Chorus & Audience | 5.5'
Contemporary poet Laura Foley's text for Returning describes watching and waiting for the return of wild geese—or any beloved thing—each passing year. This setting of her poem features a simple audience refrain that recurs three times. The refrain, included here and in the score's program notes, may be re-printed in the program or easily taught through call-and-response before the piece is sung.
Returning was commissioned by Minnesota-based chorus Magpies & Ravens (Curtis Kettler, director).
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I have learned this:
if you stay in one place long enough
they will return to you.
They will return to you,
they will return to you,
they will return.
The geese you saw leaving,
their feet rising into dark bodies.
They will return.
All you need to do is watch the sun each day
as it tumbles through the sky
and they will come again.
They will return, floating toward you,
their damp bodies
still trembling from flight.
*Note: Text for the refrain is not part of Laura Foley's original poem.