Place of Refuge

Place of Refuge

29 March 2011

Something Like a Star

I've been so silent this past
week or so:

the world of work
and the world of the world
has been far too much with me
these days; they have
invaded my brain with riff-raff and garbage,
with a pettiness that produces
and interferes with any attempt
to directly experience
love, life and language.

(Dear internet friends, don't leave me!
I'm here; I really am, and soon enough
I'll be finished with my semester!)

The absence of sun these days too,
and unexpectedly Chilly Spring Days
have frozen that dullness
into a seemingly insurmountable
wall of ice.
I have been in desperate need of a thaw.

Yesterday, I got a bit of one,
in the form of a poem set to music
in which I had the distinct pleasure of singing.

I'm not in this version of it,
but a version of it it is --

Randall Thompson's choral version
of Robert Frost's 
Choose Something Like a Star:
(may it help thaw you, too):

Choose Something Like a Star
(by Robert Frost)

O Star (the fairest one in sight),
We grant your loftiness the right
To some obscurity of cloud --
It will not do to say of night,
Since dark is what brings out your light.
Some mystery becomes the proud.
But to be wholly taciturn
In your reserve is not allowed. 

Say something to us we can learn
By heart and when alone repeat.
Say something! And it says "I burn."
But say with what degree of heat.
Talk Fahrenheit, talk Centigrade.
Use language we can comprehend.
Tell us what elements you blend. 

It gives us strangely little aid,
But does tell something in the end.
And steadfast as Keats' Eremite,
Not even stooping from its sphere,
It asks a little of us here.
It asks of us a certain height,
So when at times the mob is swayed
To carry praise or blame too far,
We may choose something like a star
To stay our minds on and be staid.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Hang on! End of term will soon be here.

Makropoulos said...

I'm counting the days. . .