Friday, 14 July 2017

Because I could not stop for death.

I've had another 'lost day', fairly painful and fairly immobile.

In the evening I watched the second half of the first night of 'The Proms'.

I must admit that although I tried hard to like classical music I failed. Rather like religion it never worked for me.

But The Proms are one of the worlds greatest music festivals and I was a regular at the 'Late Night' Proms which I could get to after work and which featured Jazz, World Music and some very experimental music indeed.

These days it's all too much for me - no more queuing for £5 standing tickets (they used to be only £3 once!) or rushing to get to the front and braving the mad people who never miss a concert.

Anyway tonight I was privileged to hear a full orchestra and a choir of 470 people performing John Adam's 'Harmonium', which featured among other things Emily Dickinson's poem;

Because I could not stop for Death
He kindly stopped for me
The Carriage held but just Ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove, He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labour and my leisure too,
For His Civility

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess in the Ring
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain
We passed the Setting Sun

Or rather He passed Us
The Dews drew quivering and Chill 
For only Gossamer, my Gown 
My Tippet  only Tulle

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground
The Roof was scarcely visible
The Cornice in the Ground.

Since then 'tis Centuries, and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses' Heads
Were toward Eternity.
 I do like a bit of Modernist Minimalism and it wasn't all gloomy either, it was also a celebration of life too.

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
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1 comment:

  1. Well all I can say is, I can't go to concerts and do things that I used to do either. But I just find things that I can do now.