If I Had Known
Words by, Mary Carolyn Davies (1988-1940?)
Mary Carolyn Davies (1888-1940?) was a writer and poet from Oregon. Educated at Berkley, Davies was the first freshman to win the Emily Chamberlin Cook Prize for Poetry and the first woman to win the Bohemian Club Prize. Davies was successful publishing at least one book and being featured in many prominent publications. Unfortunately, the last reports of Davies were that she was living in New York City, destitute, ill, and alone. It is believed that she died shortly after that report in 1940, but there are no death records which have been uncovered.
This poignant poem about not knowing what trials another is enduring is particularly powerful against the backdrop of Davies' life. Set for three part treble chorus and piano, the voices and accompaniment often have their own melodies. The piano is meant to convey the constancy of life. Often, we may wish life would just stop momentarily, so we can have time to process, but it is in constant motion. The three voices weave their melodies separately at times, but also find moments to come together.
Run Time and Level
This piece runs at about 3 minutes and 30 seconds. It was written for collegiate ensembles.