The New Moon (2020)
The poetry of Sara Teasdale has resonated strongly with me during the COVID–19 pandemic. Her anti-war and anti-industry message, her exaltation of nature, and her poignant contrast of the immortal earth with the fleeting existence of humanity all remain timely issues even nearly a century after her death.
“The New Moon” portrays a weary laborer exhausted by the work of a grueling day. The music depicts a lugubrious “march of the proletariat”—ominous and unrelenting—that pauses for a brief moment while the speaker admires the moon. The lonely worker is enraptured by its beauty for only a moment before they return, tired, to the march.