Friday, March 19, 2010

Poetry in Music

These are videos of two of the song that we are singing in our intergenerational homeschool chorus this year. Sadly, they are nothing much to watch, but they were the best video/audio performances I could find of the particular arrangements we are singing. Both songs are vocally interesting (to me, an untrained singer, this means it takes a while to learn how to hit the correct notes), but the poetry into song aspect is lovely. Happily, whilst I have been chagrined by other matters, I have been going around singing these lovely tunes with my daughter.

Emily Dickinson (1830–86). Complete Poems. 1924.

Part Two: Nature


WILL there really be a morning?
Is there such a thing as day?
Could I see it from the mountains
If I were as tall as they?

Has it feet like water-lilies?
Has it feathers like a bird?
Is it brought from famous countries
Of which I have never heard?

Oh, some scholar! Oh, some sailor!
Oh, some wise man from the skies!
Please to tell a little pilgrim
Where the place called morning lies!


William Blake. 1757–1827

489. The Tiger

TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?


Kelly Elmore said...

Every time you post about your inter-generational choir, I am so jealous. I love to sing and want to do it in a low-pressure setting with Livy, but everything around here is either a church choir, an intense adult choir, or a children's choir. No mixing! I would love to be singing these songs with you.

Lynne said...

Even sadder than the quality of those videos is that this is the last year for our intergenerational homeschool chorus! All the incredibly talented and wonderful directors (who I am proud to call my friends) are just plain burnt out. It's been a great 7 years for them, and 6 for us with them.

I hope to post on parts of our final concert, and am rather convinced that I won't find another group nearly as wonderful again. (heavy sigh)

Put your feelers out - there may be a bunch of homeschoolers who love to sing AND have the musical, directorial, and managerial background necessary to pull together a similar chorus near you. It's great if you can grow musically together. That's how this one was formed.

Christina said...

Did you see me almost lose it when I started Mairi's Wedding this past Wednesday? Getting through the last three songs of the last concert is going to be quite the test for me. The show must go on, the show must go on. . .

Lynne said...

Nope. I didn't see it. Then again, maybe I was trying not to look.

I told JP I have 2 modes in situations like that: cold as ice or blubbering fool. At the risk of appearing to be as cold as ice, I hope to maintain my composure and do my blubbering off-stage.

And I expect the lot of you to do the same!

That was my planned pep-talk, anyway. I never claimed to be Knute Rockne.