Chinese Baby Asleep (1991)
duration ca. 3:00
four part women's choir (SSAA)
Chinese Baby Asleep
by Dorothy Donnelly
She has the immaculate look of the new,
like the bud of a rose just showing through
its shell of separating sepals.
That seal with the sheen of silk, her skin,
encircles a seedling sun within
as rinds go round the stars in apples.
Eyelid and lip are luminous, lit
by the glow of life, by her breath as it
flows in and out like light through opals.
Chinese Baby Asleep was commissioned by Dr. Yip Wai Hong and the Hong Kong Baptist College Girls' Choir for performance at the 1991 Dekalb International Choral Festival. It is the middle movement of a projected cycle of five songs celebrating the birth of my daughter, Sarah Elizabeth Coleman, who was born on October 30, 1990 in Hong Kong. As I am a native of Dekalb County, Georgia, the site of the choral festival, and I currently live in Hong Kong, I was delighted to have the opportunity to write this piece for the occasion. The text, suggested by my mother, seemed particularly appropriate to the occasion as well.
Chinese Baby Asleep was commissioned by the Hong Kong Baptist College Girl's Choir, Yip Wai Hong, director, and premiered by them on May 12, 1991 at the Sai Wan Ho Civic Centre Theatre in Hong Kong.
"Chinese Baby Asleep" from The Palace of Being: New and Selected Poems, by Dorothy Donnelly, is used with the permission of Loyola University Press. Copyright (c) 1990.