On this page you can find some of the readings from our concerts
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
by Robert Frost
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
From: The Art of Flamenco:
Lorca and Falla
Debussy by Frederico Garcia Lorca
My shadow glides in silence
over the watercourse.
On account of my shadow
the frogs are deprived of stars.
The shadow sends my body
reflections of quiet things.
My shadow moves like a huge
A hundred crickets are trying
to gild the glow of the reeds.
A glow arises in my breast,
the one mirrored in the water.
From: On the Metaphysical
Love by George Herbert (1593-1633)
Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lacked anything.
“A guest," I answered, “worthy to be here”:
Love said, “You shall be he.”
“I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
I cannot look on thee.”
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
“Who made the eyes but I?”
“Truth, Lord; but I have marred them; let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.”
“And know you not," says Love, “who bore the blame?”
“My dear, then I will serve.”
“You must sit down," says Love, “and taste my meat.”
So I did sit and eat.
The Guest House by Jalal al din Rumi
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honourably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
From: A Window on Chagall
Twilight by Guillaume Apollinaire
Brushed by the shadows of the dead
On the grass where day expires
Columbine strips bare, admires
her body in the pond instead
A charlatan of twilight formed
Boasts of the tricks to be performed
The sky without a stain unmarred
Is studded with the milk-white stars
From the boards pale Harlequin
First salutes the spectators
Sorcerers from Bohemia
Fairies sundry enchanters
Having unhooked a star
He proffers it with outstretched hand
While with his feet a hanging man
Sounds the cymbals bar by bar
The blind man rocks a pretty child
The doe with all her fauns slips by
The dwarf observes with saddened pose
How Harlequin magically grows
From: New York Downtown 1960
Song by Allen Ginsberg
The weight of the world
Under the burden
under the burden
the weight we carry
Who can deny?
looks out of the heart
burning with purity--
for the burden of life
but we carry the weight
and so must rest
in the arms of love
must rest in the arms
be mad or chill
obsessed with angels
the final wish
--cannot be bitter,
the weight is too heavy
for no return
in all the excellence
of its excess.
The warm bodies
in the darkness,
the hand moves
to the center
of the flesh,
the skin trembles
and the soul comes
joyful to the eye--
I always wanted,
I always wanted,
to the body
where I was born.
Declaration of Dependence
by Darris Golinski
Too far gone
Too deep down
In the river mud
with the cast-off shoes
The guilt yap
of a wall-eyed
'In receivership' sign
on the building
soled and heeled
the footwear of the pilgrim
(A category which includes us all)
And alongside that
declaration of bankruptcy,
a faded, just legible
for a product that
no longer exists,
painted on the shop soiled side wall
fifty years ago or more;
before the war was won,
or maybe before it being even declared.
The tricks of capering Time
bleached on some old hessian dial as,
instant by immeasurable instant,
intent bleeds away into some
unanticipated unarticulated destiny
(as all destinies are
bar that last judgement call).
Yearnings sold and healed –
Make me not cry.
Make me not tears.
Make me not stupid crying face
and mouth all twisted shape.
Make me not cry
‘Til the last judgement call.
Cradle gravy –
All that would
(and would not)
fit into the skip
before the shutter finally closed
and the shop shut down.
And as the eyelids flutter down,
The bolt not only drawn but shot,
The door sign turned to ‘closed’
- a last judgement call.
What we declare in words
is as nothing to the declaration, the testimony
left by our memory
in the minds of those who knew,
or knew of
And over that
we have no authority.
From: Rainer Maria Rilke: Life and Love - the idea for this concert evolved out of the juxtaposition of Rilke's wonderful reflections on the power of music to transform and inspire us and Arnold Schoenberg's musical reflections on Dehmel's poem about the transformative power of love.
from a poem by Richard Dehmel (1863-1920)
Two people are walking through a bare, cold wood;
the moon keeps pace with them and draws their gaze.
The moon moves along above tall oak trees,
there is no wisp of cloud to obscure the radiance
to which the black, jagged tips reach up.
A woman’s voice speaks:
“I am carrying a child, and not by you.
I am walking here with you in a state of sin.
I have offended grievously against myself.
I despaired of happiness,
and yet I still felt a grievous longing
for life’s fullness, for a mother’s joys
and duties; and so I sinned,
and so I yielded, shuddering, my sex
to the embrace of a stranger,
and even thought myself blessed.
Now life has taken its revenge,
and I have met you, met you.”
She walks on, stumbling.
She looks up; the moon keeps pace.
Her dark gaze drowns in light.
A man’s voice speaks:
“Do not let the child you have conceived
be a burden on your soul.
Look, how brightly the universe shines!
Splendour falls on everything around,
you are voyaging with me on a cold sea,
but there is the glow of an inner warmth
from you in me, from me in you.
That warmth will transfigure the stranger’s child,
and you bear it me, begot by me.
You have transfused me with splendour,
you have made a child of me.”
He puts an arm about her strong hips.
Their breath embraces in the air.
Two people walk on through the high, bright night.
Sonnets to Orpheus, Part One, No I
Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926)
There rose a tree. O pure transcendency!
O Orpheus singing! O tall tree in the ear!
And all was silent. Yet even in the silence
new beginning, beckoning, change went on.
Creatures of stillness thronged out of the clear
released wood from lair and nesting-place;
and it turned out that not from cunning and not
from fear were they so hushed within themselves,
but from harkening. Bellow and cry and roar
seemed little in their hearts. And where before
hardly a hut had been to take this in,
a covert out of darkest longing
with an entrance way whose timbers tremble,-
you built temples for them in their hearing.
by Frederico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936)
from To Calm Each Troubled Heart
Crimson Lute That Comest in the Dawn by Juana de Asbaje (1651 – 1695)
from To Calm Each Troubled Heart
From Heinrich Heine and the Romantics
Der Doppelgänger by Heinrich Heine (1797-1856)
The night is still, the streets sleeping.
In this very house my sweetheart lived.
It was long ago that she left this town
Yet the house still stands just as it was.
Standing also is a man, staring above to the height
And wrings his hands in the violence of his grief,
I shudder with horror as he raises his face
And the moon shows me my own face, my own form.
You Doppelgänger, you pale companion
Why are you mocking my anguished love
That tormented me in this very place
So many, many nights in time past?
From A House in Brooklyn
an extract from
'A Member of the Wedding' by Carson McCullers (1917-1967)
It happened that green and crazy summer when Frankie was twelve years old. This was the summer when for a long time she had not been a member. She belonged to no club and was a member of nothing in the world. Frankie had become an unjoined person who hung around in doorways, and she was afraid....
But it was just at that moment that Frankie understood. She knew who she was and how she was going into the world. Her squeezed heart suddenly opened and divided. Her heart divided like two wings. When the old question came to her – the who she was and what she would be in the world and why she was standing there that minute – when the old question came to her she did not feel hurt and unanswered. At last she knew just who she was and understood where she was going. She loved her brother and the bride and she was a member of the wedding. The three of them would go into the world and they would always be together. And finally, after the scared spring and the crazy summer, she was no more afraid.