Is there no seeker of dreams that were? is inspired by the poem 'New Dreams for Old' by American poet and dramatist Cale Rice Young (1872-1943). Originally set as a piece for soprano and piano, there were elements in the poem that suggested a longer, orchestral interpretation of the lines, exploring the journey through the poem of loss and grief, and finally towards hope. The title of the finished work is taken from last lines of the first verse of the poem: ‘All of them, all, would I give for a new one. / (Is there no seeker / Of dreams that were?)’, which conjures up imagery of wisps of forgotten or lost dreams being collected and preserved in a space unknown.
Is there no seeker of dreams that were? is dedicated to the memory of Dorothy Pamela Gower Davies, a precious and beloved
New Dreams for Old Is there no voice in the world to come crying, "New dreams for old! New for old!"? Many have long in my heart been lying, Faded, weary, and cold. All of them, all, would I give for a new one. (Is there no seeker Of dreams that were?) Nor would I ask if the new were a true one: Only for new dreams! New for old! For I am here, half way of my journey, Here with the old! All so old! And the best heart with death is at tourney, If naught new it is told. Will there no voice, then, come -- or a vision -- Come with the beauty That ever blows Out of the lands that are called Elysian? I must have new dreams! New for old! Cale Rice Young (1872-1943)