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One winter afternoon

Classical/Contemporary • 1979 • Lyricist: E. E. Cummings

One winter afternoon

Read license
5.00 USD

Seller Barbara Ulman
PDF, 733.8 Kb ID: SM-000161258 Upload date: 05 Apr 2012
Piano, Voice
Scored for
Solo, Accompanying piano
Type of score
Piano-vocal score
A major
Barbara Ulman
YouTube Link:

for medium-high voice and piano

The poems of e. e. cummings often sing to me. The whimsical poetry of "one winter afternoon" inspired a playful concoction for voice and piano. This song also serves a pedagogical function: to help vocalists sing a whole-tone scale. In this piece several whole-tone passages alternate with a tongue-in-cheek romantic style.

one winter afternoon
by E. E. Cummings

one winter afternoon
(at the magical hour
when is becomes if)

a bespangled clown
standing on eighth street
handed me a flower.

Nobody,it’s safe
to say,observed him but

myself;and why?because

without any doubt he was
whatever(first and last)

mostpeople fear most:
a mystery for which i’ve
no word except alive

—that is,completely alert
and miraculously whole;

with not merely a mind and a heart

but unquestionably a soul--
by no means funereally hilarious

(or otherwise democratic)
but essentially poetic
or etherally serious:

a fine not a coarse clown
(no mob, but a person)

and while never saying a word

who was anything but dumb;
since the silence of him
self sang like a bird.
Mostpeople have been heard
screaming for international

measures that render hell rational
—i thank heaven somebody’s crazy

enough to give me a daisy
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