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Jim Clark: Music

In Absence

(Jim Clark)
November 22, 2010
Words: Byron Herbert Reece/Music: Jim Clark

This powerful love poem presented me with some significant challenges, musically speaking, especially the convoluted syntax coupled with the enjambed lines toward the end.  I worried about using the archaic word "fagot" (as in a bundle of sticks) in a contemporary song.

In Absence



I call in the cold and silence, I speak your name

And hear no answer but echo, and ache with grief.

Find me in fire, for love, in the flickering flame

Fed by fagot and leaf.


Whenever the rose lifts resolute in spring

Find me, for love, in each unfolding petal;

In the greening leaf, in every living thing

Know me a little.


Breathe me, for love, in breathing the common air;

Of spirit or matter, of all things find me part.

Greet me in absence, for love, for I am there;

And in your heart


Keep me, O Love, as near as the constant flood

Washing its chambers.  Wear me, for warmth, as close

In the channels of ivory mazing your leaping blood

As your warm blood flows.