Songs in Air: Six Songs of Yone Noguchi at Iowa State University

Updated: Dec 24, 2021


Songs in Air (Yone Noguchi 1875-1947) Jodi Goble (b. 1974)


  1. Song in Air

  2. Shadow

  3. In the Fog

  4. At Night

  5. My song is sung

  6. Spring

Songs in Air, a song cycle by Jodi Goble, was composed in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic. The cycle includes 6 songs set to poems of the Japanese poet Yone Noguchi. As is common in the song cycle tradition, the songs are linked through musical key relationships and thematic elements of the poetry. The entire song cycle is available for purchase at jodigoble.com.



Notes from the composer, reprinted with permission, can be found here.

Song in Air

Like a rainbow,

All the color,

All the music,

And all the touch, -

She suddenly rises

Over the breast of shadow.

How the world turns to a song!

She is liberation and life,

Hers is a nerve-thrill,

Not a thought or truth.

Mystically she breathes in and out

Art (let me call it so):

And when she more suddenly falls,

What a song-lost world!




Under the Moon

There is nothing

Like the moon-night when the rich noble stars

And maiden roses interchange their long looks of love.

There is nothing like the moon-night

When I raise my face from the land of loss

Unto the golden air, and calmly learn

How perfect it is to grow still as a star.

There is nothing like the moon-night

When I walk upon the freshest dews,

And amid the warmest breezes,

With all the thought of God

And all the bliss of man, as Adam

Not yet driven from Eden, and to whom

Eve was not yet born. What a bird

Dreams in the moonlight is my dream;

What a rose sings is my song.





In the Fog

When I am lost

In the deep body of the mist on a hill,

The universe seems built

With me as its pillar.

Am I the god upon the face

Of the deep, nay, deepness

Deepness in the beginning?



At Night

At night the Universe grows lean,

Sober-faced with intoxication.

The shadow of the half-sphere

Curtains down closely against my world

Like a doorless cage.

Listen, frogs in the pond,

(The world is a pond itself)

Cry out for the light, for the truth!

The curtains rattle ghostily along,

Bloodily biting my soul,

The winds knocking on my cabin door

With their shadowy hands.




My Song is Sung

My song is sung, but a moment...

The song of voice is merely the body, (the body dies).

And the real part of the song, its soul, remains after it is sung;

Yea, it remains in the vibration of thy waves of heart-sea

Echoing still my song,

And through my soul thou soarest out of thy dust and griefs.



Spring

Spring,

Winged Spring,

A laughing butterfly,

Flashes away,

Rosy-cheeked Spring,

Angel of a moment.

The little shadow of my lover perfumed.

Maiden Spring,

Now fades

The shadow,

The golden shadow,

With all the charm.

Spring,

Naughty sweet Spring:

A proud coquette,

Born to laugh but not to live.

Spring,

Flying Spring,

A beautiful runaway,

Leaves me in tears,

But my soul follows after,

Till I catch her

Next March.

Spring,

Spring!

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