Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Poem For Autumn

The English department at UW-Eau Claire is lucky enough to count Max Garland, Wisconsin's Poet Laureate among our current faculty. Max is an incredibly talented poet (obviously) and also one of the nicest people I have ever met. The choir I recently joined, The Master Singers, commissioned Max to write a poem for our composer-in-residence to set to music for our upcoming Fall concert. It's just starting to feel like autumn here so I thought I would post it. It's beautiful and if you want to hear it set to music (with a gorgeous cello accompaniment), come to our concert on October 12!

October Song

Show me the changing light on the river
And I’ll show you a portrait of time
Its blessings and burdens and blurring of borders
Between what’s yours and what’s mine

High in the arc of the waning season
The wild ragged flocks wind their way
By reckonings older than roadmap or reason
Moonlight, starlight, the land’s old sway.

Pay attention to this, cries the moon
How time pares the light away soon
Though deep in the sky, constellations and I
Will tend to the darkness’s wounds.

Rapids are the water wanting to sing
Wind is how cottonwoods earn their wings
Intimations of snow in the field’s afterglow
Tell more of what’s coming than we want to know

There’s wealth in the mill and the market
And a singular wealth of mind
There’s a wealth of gold in the tamarack
That the lucky among us may find

For the silos wearing sunsets like crowns
And the oak leaves changing ruby to rust
For the marshes on the outskirts of castaway towns
This is a song for the fugitive dust
A song for the fugitive dust

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