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String Quartet

Word count: 148

Song Cycle by Frederick Koch (b. 1923)

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?. Long ago I learned how to sleep [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English


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Long ago I learned how to sleep,	
In an old apple orchard where the wind swept by 
counting its money and throwing it away,
In a wind-gaunt orchard where the limbs forked out 
and listened or never listened at all,
In a passel of trees where the branches 
trapped the wind into whistling, "Who, who are you?"
I slept with my head in an elbow on a summer afternoon 
and there I took a sleep lesson.
There I went away saying: I know why they sleep, 
I know how they trap the tricky winds.
Long ago I learned how to listen to the singing wind 
and how to forget and how to hear the deep whine,
Slapping and lapsing under the day blue and the night stars:
  Who, who are you?
Who can ever forget
listening to the wind go by
counting its money
and throwing it away?

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