Thursday, March 15, 2007


Every year when Spring comes, I feel like I've just been let out of jail.

OK - technically Spring is still a few days off, but it's pushing 70 outside and I've decided to celebrate the annual soul-thaw by starting a blog. Which, considering the high standards set by TOWWAS, Z. Dog and E.C. i.a., does present a daunting challenge...

By way of introduction, I offer you a poem I wrote several years ago while rehearsing for the annual Washington Christmas Revels show. The show was set in the England of Henry II and we were encouraged to develop our characters by writing faux-historical pieces about ourselves and our relationships with each other. Mostly, these took the form of letters from one high-born person to another. My character was a baseborn farmer who I am sure couldn't write. But he could sing, and dictated the following poem to his wife, who had become literate during her marriage to a soldier (later killed in battle). Will Roote speaks for me very well. And don't tell me iambic pentameter didn't catch on until several hundred years later. I was there, bub!

All base were we born and close to Earthe

Whiche feeds and shelteres us with Thatch and Fyre

The feel of Earthe and Metalle and of Woode

To our rough Handes sings Music to the Heart

And simple Knowledge that our God and King

Are Fortresses ‘gainst those who wish us Ill

It is enough. But to my Land do all

The lusty Men and Wymmen komme

Rejoicing in the Weale of King and Realm

To sing and dance and revel in the Mirth

That merry Companye quickens in our Heartes

And often have I knowne there such Delights

That I would not change places with the King

Or any Lord or Lady of the Realm

My Place is with the Orchards and the Vines

In Sunne and Winde and Water and in Song

To sing full free my Soule into the Earthe

Where I can see the Seeds in dying

Come to Birthe again and teach us all

The wondrous Truth – by Deathe to be reborn

So I Will Roote do komme before ye all

With Gladwyn and our Kinder of the Earthe

To sweare I am in Love with Life

In Roote and Stem and Leaf and Froote

And Song and Dance and Revelry – and Deathe

Our Bodyes die that we be born again

So let us to the Yuletide Revels come

Full dancing with a Fyre in our Soules

That sings all glory to our God

And King and Court and each to each of us

Who are base or high born in equal part

The magick Mystry of this magick Time

Take each of us into each others Heart

And sing Alleluya Alleluya

And know it is enough – more than enough

To heal the wounds that tear our Land apart

By Will Roote as writ down by his good Wyfe Gladwyn

On this second Year of Henrys Reign before

the Christemas Court

May God have Mercy on our Soules and God save the King

That said, I'm delighted to join the blogosphere!

Going to the Kennedy Center tonight to hear Julia Fischer, an enormously gifted young German violinist. The DVD of her performance of Le Quattro Stagioni simply took my breath away!

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