A Dream Within A Dream    2008

     for baritone and piano

Take this kiss upon the brow!

And, in parting from you now,

Thus much let me avow -

You are not wrong, who deem

That my days have been a dream;

Yet if hope has flown away

In a night, or in a day,

In a vision, or in none,

Is it therefore the less gone?

All that we see or seem

Is but a dream within a dream.


I stand amid the roar

Of a surf-tormented shore,

And I hold within my hand

Grains of the golden sand -

How few! yet how they creep

Through my fingers to the deep,

While I weep- while I weep!

O God! can I not grasp

Them with a tighter clasp?

O God! can I not save

One from the pitiless wave?

Is all that we see or seem

But a dream within a dream?


      -  Text by Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849)


I have always adored the poetry of Edgar Allen Poe.  The raw emotions and easy flow of speech that he can convey in perfect form and rhythm are so musical and moving.  He possesses not only perfection of rhythm and verse, but also exactitude of expression that asks more questions than it answers, yet leaves us content.  Not all questions are meant to be answered; not all answers are meant to be understood.  The juxtaposition of acceptance and tumult, of dreams and reality, of being content to watch your days fly away and yet desperately wishing to grasp every second, give us not only a glimpse of the genius of Poe, but also a glimpse into the very nature of the human soul.


Excerpt performed by Brandon Grimes, baritone, and Donia Jarrar, piano.

For sheet music, please contact me .