Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

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Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

 

A FEW OF RICHARD STOKERíS POEMS

Written Mainly Between 1956-1960

Most of these poems were written by the composer around the time of his visit to Arthur Benjamin in London.

However I have included a couple of later works which have a musical interest.

 

 

NOONTIME

the city in busy day

time after time of

endless movement in

decay of morning

the blind turmoil

of life's intense

hurry in search of the

sun whose molten rays

weep currents through

opaque clouds

 

 

NIGHTWALK

leaves fall

fanlike over

blank thoughts

disinterested gaze

picture

vaguely visual

moving slowly

out of focus

weaving mistily

out of mind

 

 

WINTER TREES

wind blown wonders

bent brown boughs

stretching limbs

gaping leafless branches

trunkless wonders

branchless stems

web winded

silhouetted against

grey skies

 

 

AUTHOR OF ULYSSES

iron intellect

literary lion

shocker of the twenties

singing songs to the

proud penelope

you the bard of the pianola

weaving dreams

dung-like of discovery

tightening your influence

over oxford poets

 

 

SNOWFALL

the snow falls

grass trees hedges

are topped with crystal

the snow falls

out with brush and shovel

the houseowner in waterproof

snow covered cap and coat

his will to move and remove

sweep and shovel

again and again

the snow falls

 

 

ELEGY FROM THE SUBCONSCIOUS

his life's labours were not in vain

for the elbow lust of life's pain and

dart distrust of the thoughtless

flow of darkened conceits

were his

whether his conscience

in debating right

or his opinion in

shunning wrong

was right

his was happily granted will

answered and obeying

thoughts of deep doubt

self pitied nought nor

attained by abstract wish

 

 

RIVER RUN

the river runs in

shadow

translucent splendour

overhung

the green grass

moss of fishes in

shadow

the river runs

 

 

WOMAN FROM CALVADOS

what was this girl for

the one from calvados

did she know beforehand

in the many hours of waiting

what was to be her vocation

how could such a simple mind

plan such a sly and useful move

like a cat

about to pounce

on a mouse

 

 

TRANSITIONS

sitting alone I hear the

quiet chatter of many

people eagerly awaiting

some news of friends from

other years or times or other places

often the changing face of someone

many months or years apart in time

 

(Written at London airport the day before

The Beatles arrived back from the USA) - RS

 

 

IN MEMORIAM FRANCIS POULENC (January 30th 1963)

 

pen in hand you take your final devotion
what should have been a day of creation
turns to become a day of revelation
peaceful you lie wearing the smile of old times
as if to greet the friend who will follow
the one who will grieve today when he hears
apollo is over

 

your colleagues continue at a pitch much lower
your friends are with you at a tempo slower

 

the pen is taken from stiff fingers
it is no longer frozen there by cold morning
but lies on the desk now
with the paper and pencils
which recorded the sounds and rhythms
the shapes and forms
only you transposed into beauty

 

the spirit remains in its finest intonation
the strings offer you a final supplication

 

the harp is silent in its mourning and
voices only you could comprehend
have fallen away one by one
leaving only the solo song
as in the work which was fashioned
by the one who will follow

 

a single voice finding its final repose
a monody which only you could compose

[The above was written near Paris the day after Francis Poulenc died] - RS

 

 

MY OLD PIANO - A CHILD'S SONG

long after all have gone upon a

deserted dusty stage where three

months passed a show was staged

I came upon a piano brown and

long as no one's there I make

this sound on this old piano

against the wall in window

light it stands and reaching

up my head and hands I

see trees and pavements

black and white a sort of

draughts my fingers walk

upon them in the centre where

it's bright now when I explore with

fingertips and step that's sure I find the

darkest farthest ends are fun to reach with

thumb and finger here my friends galore sing and

dance with me this song fairies at top and giants below

and if I stretch out further the fairies sing the giants shout

together and coming closer elves and gnomes and pixies

battle for its sunny centre now when all is done my friends

return to the farthest ends of my old piano to two brown

stones where they must live for once behind a chair

I hid and watched a man dust them away but

they returned to sing and play the next day

 

All Poems Ó Richard Stoker

 

 

 

 

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