Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Do not stand at my grave and weep

Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep is a free of rights poem written in 1932 by Mary Elizabeth Frye. Frye allegedly found herself composing the piece of verse on a brown paper shopping bag.

When I found the poem (as with all great findings, by accident :) ) it resonated with me, and I quickly found myself humming a melody to it. It's my first composition for a piano, clarinet, cello trio.

The piece is conceived as an elaborate harmonization of a single note ("e"). Throughout the first verse you can hum the note "e" to the melody. After a modulation the text is repeated and the pedal note becomes the note "f".

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.


  1. I had no idea that you had only recently come to know re: that poem. I'm very glad that you happened upon it. :)

  2. I don't know if this would be "sacrilege" or not (plus am not sure how the instrumentation would sound)... anyway... I was wondering if you would send me a copy of this. Cello part- into alto clef (as before- lol!) and this is the part that might not totally work 100% "tone" wise, but... oboe part as violin (which evidently will work as written- I had to double check to see if oboe was a Bb instrument- and yay- it is not).

    So... :O I know- changing piano, oboe, cello to piano, violin, viola :O - completely pushing things. lol! Well... piano is the same at least. ;)