April 12, 2012

Thursday music: poetry

Today's Thursday Music is basically one giant song with 5 parts: Eric Whitacre's The City and the Sea. I first heard this live at the Whitacre-Lauridsen concert that I attended in New York over spring break with Yongfeng and I was really quite blown away (even though the choirs weren't very good). e e cummings is one of my favourite poets, and I really enjoyed the way that Whitacre interpreted the text to music.

1. i walked the boulevard

i walked the boulevard

i saw a dirty child
skating on noisy wheels of joy
pathetic dress fluttering

behind her a mothermonster
with red grumbling face
cluttered in pursuit
pleasantly elephantine

while nearby the father
a thick cheerful man
with majestic bulbous lips
and forlorn piggish hands

joked to a girlish whore
with busy rhythmic mouth
and silly purple eyelids
of how she was with child

2. the moon is hiding in her hair

the moon is hiding in
her hair.
of heaven
full of all dreams,
draws down.

cover her briefness in singing
close her with intricate faint birds
by daisies and twilights
Deepen her,

upon her
the rain’s
pearls singly-whispering.

3. maggie and milly and molly and may

maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach (to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles, and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

for whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea

4. as is the sea marvelous

as is the sea marvelous
from god’s
hands which sent her
forth to sleep upon the world

and the earth withers
the moon crumbles
one by one
stars flutter into dust

but the sea
does not change
and she goes forth out of hands and
she returns into hands
and is with sleep…

the breaking
of your
my lips

5. little man in a hurry

little man
(in a hurry
full of an
important worry)
halt stop forget relax


(little child
who have tried
who have failed
who have cried)
lie bravely down


big rain
big snow
big sun
bug moon
(enter us)

This week has been a little draining (understatement). Being sick in a rainy Berkeley, not being able to eat anything and being stuck in this fog of confusion all the time is a little disconcerting. I haven't been this sick in a long time, and all my usual remedies (manuka honey, strepsils, Clarinase) haven't been working! I blame it on the weather and the stress of end-of-semester projects. But oh well. I really shouldn't complain because I am so incredibly blessed :) More to come, I promise!

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