Songs for the Rulers of the Universe

Erica Maul (soprano), Evren Ozel (piano)


Song for the Rulers of the Universe 

I. “ I shut my eyes”

II.  “ Seaside”


I first came across the poetry of Sylvia Plath during my junior while studying “ the Hours”. Coincidely my English teacher back then also screened the film version, directed by Setev Daldry and starring Meryl Streep, Drew Barrymore, and Nicole Kidman. In addition to really liking the film, it reintroduced me to the music of Phillip Glass and lead me to his fifth string quartet which would inspire me to write my own.

Written in the fall of my senior, “I shut my eyes” and “Seaside” are part of a set of three songs, the third song being “ Tomorrow”. The first song is inspired by Sylvia Plath’s “ Mad Girl’s Love Song” , the second one by Ogden Nash’s “ Pretty Halcyon Days” and the third song inspired by Wislawa Szymborska’s “ Nothing twice”.

I was inspired by Amy Beach to attempt/start to write a set of songs which has resulted in the following.


I. I shut my eyes
from “ Mad Girl’s Love Song” - Sylvia Plath

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.

II. Seaside
from “ Pretty Halcyons Days” - Ogden Nash

How pleasant to sit on the beach,
On the beach, on the sand, in the sun,
And nothing at all to be done!

No letters to answer,
No bills to be burned,
No work to be shirked,
No cash to be earned,
It is pleasant to sit on the beach
With nothing at all to be done!

To lave in the wave,
Majestic and chilly,
Tomorrow I crave;
But today it is silly.

The sun and the sand
No contractor can copy;
We lie in the land
Of lotus and poppy;
We live, calm and romantic,
On the beach, on the sand, in the sun, in the sea !