Friday, June 4, 2010

The Music of the Kingdom

When I was in high school, I wrote a term paper on Ralph Waldo Emerson. I was especially struck by his essay "The Poet," in which he wrote about poets plucking perfect, already-written poetry from the ether and miswriting it, thus creating the imperfect poems that are still among the greatest we know. That inspired me to write this poem in college, a poem about music of which I am still proud 18 years later.

The Music of the Kingdom

To pluck from the sky and transcribe, line by line,
The most aimless harmonies of the Divine!
God's half-sleeping mind conjures up countless airs
That, upon their rejection, escape down His stairs.

They drop from the Kingdom as crumbs from a table
And drift through the heavens; and minds that are able
May reach up and swipe them, one at a time,
And notate and sing them, and add to them rhyme.

And thus, compositions that strayed from the flock
Were taken and written by Mozart and Bach.
Imagine then, friends, in the Kingdom, how awed
We will be by the music that WAS fit for God!

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