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  1. Monochord

From the recording Monochord

This modified Petrarchan sonnet is most likely Reece's reaction to the global chaos surrounding WWII; he did write a handful of poems explicitly about the war.  He tried to enlist and was disappointed by his deferment.  Setting a Petrarchan sonnet to music was, for me, a particularly interesting exercise.

Lyrics

Monochord
 
 
Trouble, I heard the wind say to the tree,
Trouble and death and a red tide of blood;
Trouble, O trouble by the surging sea,
Trouble and anguish in the silent wood.
Trouble, the wind said, blood upon the wheat;
Sorrow, it said, death in the narrow sky;
Horror, it said, given as bread to eat
Unto the young that they may ail and die.
 
Tidings of terror like a brazen horn,
Blood on the waters where the hosts are slain;
Trouble, the wind said moving in the corn,
Trouble, O trouble on the heaving plain;
Trouble and death the day that man was born
—How shall the earth be free of him again!