The worst of loves (Where do they go, the faces?) for alto and guitar


Setting of a poem by Douglas Dunn – Where do they go, the faces….
a song of nostalgia for failed opportunities to get to know people.
The sound sample is performed live by the composer.

Where do they go, the faces, the people seen
In glances and longed for, who smile back
Wondering where the next kiss is coming from?

They are seen suddenly, from the top decks of buses,
On railway platforms at the tea machine,
When the sleep of travelling makes us look for them.

A whiff of perfume, an eye, a hat, a shoe,
Bring back vague memories of names,
Thingummy, that bloke, what’s-her-name.

What great thing have I lost, that faces in a crowd
Should make me look at them for one I know,
What are faces that they must be looked for?

But there’s one face, seen only once,
A fragment of a crowd. I know enough of her,
That face makes me dissatisfied with myself.

Those we secretly love, who never know of us,
What happens to them? Only this is known,
They will never meet us suddenly in pleasant rooms.

The music also appears as an instrumental duet for flute and guitar
or clarinet and guitar under the title “Across a crowded room”.