Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep
Choir: SATB div. a cappella
Duration: 4 minutes
RELATED: #Serious #Comfort #Nature #Remembrance
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 stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
-Mary Elizabeth Frye, 1932
Mary Elizabeth Frye's beautiful poem has provided solace and comfort for generations across the world. Translated into various languages, this poem has traveled a long way from its origins as a text written to comfort a grieving friend. No matter its storied history, it remains a timeless source of peace.
I was personally drawn to Frye's vivid imagery. The various depictions of nature inspired me to compose a ragamalika: a garland of ragas, the emotive scales of Indian classical music. Above all, the quiet elegance of her text conveys a message of hope that I aspired to capture musically.
Winner of the Inversion Ensemble Competition, USA, 2021
Winner of the Vox Nova Chorale Competition, USA, 2016
Featured on Regional Spotlight, MPR, USA, 2016
Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep, performed by Vox Nova Chorale, 2016. Directed by Vicki Peters. Minnesota, USA