Like the subtle wings of love (12:45) (2008) for fl, cl, vla, 2 percussionists, and 5 vocalists (S,S,CT,T, B/B)

Ileana Pérez Velázquez’s “like the subtle wings of love” (2008)

We experience many facets of love throughout our life journey. I was moved by this idea when I chose the poems that comprise the lyrics of my work. The lyrics of “like the subtle wings of love” were chosen from various poems written by Rabindranah Tagore at different points of his life. “like the subtle wings of love” contains four main sections – each one focusing on a different aspect or reflection on love. The first section was inspired by the love of a mother for her child – the infinite aspect of a love that reaches far beyond her physical presence on earth. The second section is a reflection on the always changing aspect of our lives and how love occupies a very special place at its center. The third section depicts a person who is being advised to trust love even if it brings sorrow, but this person cannot understand and finds those words dark. This creates an emotional conflict that will be resolved with a prayer during the fourth and last section of the composition. The last section is a prayer asking for the courage to love; to speak; to suffer. It is a prayer to have the confidence to love and to forgive.

Perez Velazquez: “like the subtle wings of love” Texts by Rabindranah Tagore


This song of mine will wind its music around you, my child, like the fond arms of love.

This song of mine will touch your forehead like a kiss of blessing.

When you are alone it will sit by your side and whisper in your ear…

My song will be like a pair of wings to your dreams, it will transport your heart to the verge of the unknown.

It will be like a faithful star overhead when dark night is over your road.

And when my voice is silent in death, my song will speak in your living heart.


Our life sails on the uncrossed sea whose waves chase each other in an eternal hide-and-seek.

It is the restless sea of change, feeding its foaming flocks to lose them over and over again, beating its hands against the calm of the sky.

Love, in the centre of this circling war-dance of light and dark, yours is that green island, where the sun kisses the shy forest shade and silence is wooed by birds’ singing.



“Trust love even if it brings sorrow. Do not close up your heart.”

“Ah, no, my friend, your words are dark, I cannot understand them.”

– IV-

Give me the supreme courage of love, this is my prayer- the courage to speak, to do, to suffer at thy will, to leave all things or be left alone. Strengthen me on errands of danger, and help me climb to that difficult mood which sacrifices daily to thee.

Give me the supreme confidence of love, this is my prayer- the confidence that belongs to life in death, to victory in defeat, to that dignity in pain which accepts hurt but disdains to return it.

I – “My song” (from “The crescent moon”)

II –  (from “The fugitive, and other poems” II – XXVIII)

III – (from “The gardenerXXVI)

IV – (from “The fugitive, and other poemsIII – XXXVII)

from The Collected Poems and Plays

(Macmillan Publishing Company, 1942)