Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep
Choir: SATB div. a cappella
Duration: 4 minutes
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.