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The Wild Rose

for SATB with piano + Cello (or C Instrument)

(Difficulty 3 out of 5)

The Composition

Shortly after I became engaged, I began looking for a poem to set to music as a surprise for my wife on our wedding day. I sought words that expressed my love for her, but equally as important, words that captured the amazing gravity – both the joys and the concerns – of committing to one human being forever. Wendell Berry’s masterful poem “The Wild Rose” struck me as so true to the thoughts and emotions I felt as I neared our ceremony, especially the notion that our loved ones are not to be taken for granted, but instead, recommitted to each and every new day. 

The Poem


The Wild Rose


Sometimes hidden from me

in daily custom and in trust,

so that I live by you unaware

as by the beating of my heart,


suddenly you flare in my sight,

a wild rose blooming at the edge

of thicket, grace and light

where yesterday was only a shade,


and once more I am blessed, choosing

again what I chose before.


Copyright © 1999 by Wendell Berry from The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry. Reprinted with permission of Counterpoint Press.


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