love is the every only god

Work Type: Choral / Vocal, Classical

Instrumentation: SATB chorus

Duration: 4 minutes

While composing love is the every god, I was inspired by two elements of the poem’s structure.  First, I tried to convey the poem’s linear journey from earth to sea to sky to stars: from heft and strength, to overlapping waves of sound, to flight, to joyous weightlessness.  Second, the symmetry of the poem – as well as the faith of the couple it was written for – led me to think of the piece in concentric circles or spirals.  Each section relates to its ‘mirror’ in some way – sometimes clear, sometimes not – and each section contains its own loops and circular patterns.


love is the every only god


who spoke this earth so glad and big

even a thing all small and sad

man,may his mighty briefness dig


for love beginning means return

seas who could sing so deep and strong


one querying wave will whitely yearn

from each last shore and home come young


so truly perfectly the skies

by merciful love whispered were,

completes its brightness with your eyes


any illimitable star

– E. E. Cummings

“love is the every only god” from COMPLETE POEMS: 1904-1962, by E. E. Cummings, Edited by George J. Firmage, is used with the permission of the Liveright Publishing Corporation. Copyright 1940, 1968, 1991 by the Trustees for the E. E. Cummings Trust.


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