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E.E. Cummings Reads His "i thank You God for most this amazing day"

December 9, 2009 at 12:21 am UTC

Wow… a truly spine-tingling sound recording from 1953. One of my very favorite poems, read by the great E.E. Cummings:

And here is the excellent VU Kamercoor (Netherlands) performing my setting, which I composed in 1999:

  • Aric Johnstone


    I'm a BYU alum (worked on your most recent BYU collaboration a couple of years ago) and now sing with the Deseret Chamber Singers based out of SLC. You've probably not heard of us, but we're comprised almost exclusively of former members of BYU Singers and the University of Utah Singers. Over the last 3 years we've performed several of your songs and most recently we performed Water Night at our fall concert in October.

    The recording turned out really nicely and we posted the video to our facebook fanpage:

    I thought you might like to take a look when you have a moment. Thanks for all your work!


  • Curtis Prevo

    Aric, thanks for the awesome link to your group’s page!!! I love Salt Lake City-based groups! The music in Utah almost convinces me to become a Mormon.

  • Elliott

    I absolutely LOVE e. e. cummings. And your setting. I'm attempting to arrange it for full orchestra. Awesome stuff.

  • Elliott

    Wow, I LOVE e. e. cummings. And especially your setting. I am attempting to arrange it for full orchestra. Good stuff.

  • Deacon

    When I first heard this song performed by Polyphony, it brought me to tears, and hearing this performance has brought back those emotions. Bravo!

  • Mark S

    The University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire's Concert Choir had your setting of this poem in its repertoire when it toured in Normandy in 2004 around the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

    I was in that choir, and when we sang this piece at a concert at Abbey Cerisy honoring Veterans of the 29th Infantry Division (they came with their families to hear the concert)…I have never been so present in a piece of music in my life. I understood and sang out every word and note as if I'd never conceived of them before in my life. That moment is permanently written in my memory.

    I've always wished to say thank you, somehow, for your music…and now I can.

    Thank you.

  • Brent Walker

    Eric, I discovered your music just before being diagnosed with prostate cancer. All is good now, but I want you to know that your transcendent setting of this fabulous poem got me through the scariest time of my life.

    Thank you for your abundant talent, and never stop writing.

  • joanne

    my cherished son, tim, and his two precious children lost mother and wife, four days ago. hearing this deeply moving poem set to music for choir has brought me comfort and assurance for the hopeful days to come. my gratefulness for such beauty fills an aching heart.

  • David

    Another excellent performance of your piece (very well recorded), by Asaka High School Chorus Club:

  • Janet Caldwell

    I have loved this poem since Iwas 6 years old, now 55. What a joy it was to hear e.e. Cummings voice and then to hear it sung so beautifully. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  • Lisa Downey

    I am in the middle of a series of paintings based on e.e. cummings poems. I paint the words on top of an abstract picture. It’s wonderful to hear the words that I’ve been focusing on — and in such incredibly beautiful music! Congratulations!!

  • Jeremiah Horrigan

    I heard your setting for this wonderful poem only this morning. I didn’t know the title. I was listening on a balky car radio. I wasn’t even sure the song was in English. But the phrase “lifted from the no of all nothing” caught my ear. Could it be? The poem whose first line / title I’d made a prayer of for the past 15 years? The only prayer I’ve ever needed or wante?. I was astonished and moved by what you’ve made of this great work. Thank you.

  • Brian Baumgarn

    Thanks, Eric for another inspiring song and thanks for the comment from Brent Walker. Yep, never doubt in the grace and presence of what Cummings called “the unimaginable you!”

  • Kirtle Dove

    How exciting to hear this beautiful poem in this setting. I have also arranged it (set as 2 separate songs where the first flows into each other.) And written for very different choirs! It is so fascinating to hear how different composers hear the same text. Kirsty Martin (