<< -- 4 -- Jennifer I Paull 'SKY POETS PAINT THE SHELTERED CURVE TO FIND'
The poet touches every rainbow:
Take me as I drive alone
Through the dark countryside.
As the strong beams clear a path,
Picking out fences, weeds, late
Flowering trees, everything
That streams back into the past
Without sound. I smell the grass
And the rich chemical sleep
Of the fields. An open moon
Sails above, and a stalk
Of red lights blinks, miles away.
It is at such moments I
Am called, in a voice so pure
I have to close my eyes and enter
The breathing darkness just beyond
My headlights. I have come back.
I think, to something I had
Almost forgotten, a mouth
That waits patiently, sighs, speaks,
And falls silent. No one else
Is alive. The blossoms are
White, and I am almost there.
Robert Mezey, Poet's Prize (USA) Winner 2001
Aaron Rabushka, with glass in hand, is photographed in a restaurant near Budapest. One can just discern a postcard of a painting by the Hungarian artist, Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka (1853-1919) protruding from his shirt pocket.
Robert Mezey (born 1935) and Aaron Rabushka (born 1958) touch me with a wealth of images and colour in their respective compositions. An inner maze spun by Rabushka's music and Mezey's words, ensnares a vagabond counterpoint of simultaneous curves-to find. The wordscape and the soundscape artist blend time and place settings with spirituality and faith. They weave skilful emotional pulls and interlace flavours of past, present and future tenses into their miniaturists' frames with enchanting economy. Mezey's cameo word carvings are finely chiselled portraits: a man of languages, their disciplines lie abstractly fallow inside his pen, invisibly pivoting their rhythmical essences into his sensual fluency.
As Stravinsky (1882-1971) put it so well, 'Too many pieces of music finish too long after the end.' Not here!
I came across these two artists in 2001 whilst spending an academic year teaching in the United States. Rabushka sent me a recording of his setting of Psalm 126, Concerto Vocale: Salmo 126 (1993), and I was captivated by his vivid writing, his use of transparency, space, emotion and wit. In his own words, it is ...
'... a dreaming and powerful poem that looks to past and future happiness from a not-so-happy present ...'
Inspired by the Psalm and its spiritual meaning, his contemporary setting is a canvass for a soprano to soar free above the orchestra in Aramaic, accompanied by a solo flute and violin in the baroque disciplinary form of the Concerto Vocale. Here is a present day journey back to the Land of Dreams, once upon a millennium, long, long ago.
'When the Lord turned again the captivity of Sion: then were we like unto them that dream ... they that sow in tears: shall reap in joy'. Psalm 126
Copyright © 6 March 2005
Jennifer I Paull, Vouvry, Switzerland