This is a sketch (which would be expanded if it goes forward) of a first movement of a suite of pieces for small orchestra and chorus. Each piece would be a musical setting of a poem (or portion of a poem) by a contemplative/mystic poet. Poets would be selected from a variety of traditions and cultures, and the musical setting would attempt to fit well with the style and subject of each poem. I have sent a proposal for this suite to the music director at my church, so we'll see if it goes anywhere...
This first movement is a setting of Gerard Manley Hopkin's poem "Heaven-Haven". The music is simple and lyrical, in keeping with the poem's style and subject. The meter changes in order to more closely mimic the natural speaking rhythm of the poem, combined with considerations of musicality of course.
The words, slightly adapted are:
I have desired to go
Where springs won't fail
To fields where flies no sharp and sided hail
And a few lillies blow.
And I have asked to be
Where no storms come
Where the green swell is in the havens dumb
And out of the swing of the sea.
- GM Hopkins