rehearsal as poetry

I received a delightful, unexpected gift about a week ago. (Actually, gifts are best if they are unexpected!) Stan Morner, a choir member at Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church, brought a copy of the Carquinez Poetry Review by The Yarn Boutique. He had taken some of his notes from a rehearsal of my Pentecost cantata and fashioned them as only a poet can into a delightful poem about the rehearsal. I was very pleased and a bit overwhelmed. I asked Stan if I could post the poem on my blog and he gave me permission.

THE COMPOSER CONDUCTS A LAST REHEARSAL OF HIS NEW CANTATA FOR PENTECOST

No lingering on “Dark-ness”
and remember the “Spir-it”
doesn’t slow down.
But hold “Jesus al-ive”
until the diminuendo
at “Je-ru-sa-lem.”

We all come in together
on “The breath of God.”
Enjoy the chord.
You can breathe later.

“There appeared to them
tongues as of fire.”
Forte on the “tongues.”
We don’t get pianissimo
until “Hea-ven.”

Watch me for signs
“On the earth be-neath”
and on “the moon into blood.”
I’ll give you plenty of cues
until “we shall all be saved.”

Finally, some last advice.
If you make a mistake,
make it loud.

Now, let’s go kick
some spiritual butt.

[Copyright 2005 by Stan Morner. All rights reserved. Used by permission.]

Music to my ears…and eyes. Now, should I set this to music? Perhaps with a choir singing the quotes from the lyrics? A soloist or narrator on the poem? And what about the rest of the poetry review? Might I find other poems that sing to me? For now I’m enjoying the resonance, the connections with last spring’s rehearsals and performance, the energy and excitement, the moments of beauty amidst the uncertainty of presenting a new piece of music. Yup. Definitely music…

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2 Responses to rehearsal as poetry

  1. MCC Nursing Student says:

    Please inform “Stan” that I also enjoyed his poem. Merry Christmas-
    Charletha

  2. Robert Train Adams says:

    Thanks, Carletha. I’ll pass your kind words along to Stan. I not only enjoyed the interplay of his words with the lyrics from the cantata, but that, when I read the poem to the new choir that I now direct (I was so excited that I had to share it–who better than a choir would understand how a rehearsal goes?), they saw me in the poem, even though they did not know the cantata to which he referred.

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