Lyrics: Difficult Loves, by Benjamin Williams

Difficult Loves                                                                                            Benjamin Williams (b. 1982)

  1. Faces                                                                                                     Text by Sara Teasdale
  2. Fault
  3. In a Railroad Station

The poems selected for Difficult Loves were all written by Sara Teasdale, and perhaps give a portrait of a tragic female poet.  But for this composer, it was just as important that these poems express the difficulty of relating to others, regardless of gender.  These poems deal with the ways in which we sometimes misunderstand each other, stand distant from one another, or simply imagine others the way we fear they might be.  Empathy then begins at the point where we recognize that the ‘other’ is probably just like us.


1. Faces

People that I meet and pass

In the city’s broken roar,

Faces that I lose so soon

And have never found before,

Do you know how much you tell

In the meeting of our eyes,

How ashamed I am, and sad

To have pierced your poor disguise?


Secrets rushing without sound

Crying from your hiding places

Let me go, I cannot bear

The sorrow of the passing faces.

People in the restless street,

Can it be, oh can it be

In the meeting of our eyes,

That you know as much of me?


2. Fault

They came to tell your faults to me,

They named them over one by one;

I laughed aloud when they were done,

I knew them all so well before.


Oo, oh, ah, they were blind,

Oo, oh, ah, too blind to see

Your faults had made me love you more.


3. In a Railroad Station

We stood in the shrill electric light,

Dumb and sick in the whirling din

We who had all of love to say

And a single second to say it in.


“Good-by!” “Good-by!” you turned to go,

I felt the train’s slow heavy start,

You thought to see me cry, but oh

My tears were hidden in my heart.