When I spoke to Robert Ressler about the inspiration behind his poem, he told me it occurred to him when he had been helping a classroom of kindergarteners with an art lesson. None of the students were having much success with the activity, but one little girl—the youngest child in the class—was constructing extraordinarily beautiful flowers out of paper.
The poem he was inspired to write is about disadvantaged youth born into a world beyond their control, and their collective hope for something better. “Summer” is the fourth and final movement of my work based around the seasons (all of which end on the same word), and in my setting of the poem I attempted to capture that optimism and gently propel the little girl's hopeful journey forward a bit.
This piece is one of four a cappella works which uses the seasons as its inspiration. They can be performed starting on any of the movements as long as the cycle progresses in the cyclical order of the seasons.