The poem Maple Dust was written by my niece at age thirteen and was inspired by fall in Ancaster, Ontario. Her poetry resurfaced many years later amongst her late grandmother’s treasured possessions. The outer stanzas were very hopeful and full of vivid fall color, but I was even more intrigued by the middle stanza where the leaves “are all alone”.
“The wind is cruel, it takes the leaves To far-off places in their dreams, But where they go, it’s far from home, And now the leaves are all alone.”
- Airlie Clarke
I saw creative potential for major/minor harmonies, contrasting melodic content, and dramatic vocal writing. My favorite part is at “far-off places” – where parallel 4ths evoke an exotic coloring. I’d like to say that it was careful planning on my part, but to be honest, it was completely subconscious and deliciously discovered long after completion.
Winner of the 2008 Canadian Federation of Music Teacher’s Call for Compositions.