From a New Theory of Parallels - (2017)
for medium voice and piano
I have wandered,
I have pondered,
I have squandered
Many a boon:
In the sadness,
In the gladness,
In the madness
Of the moon.
Seek thy pillow
By the billow,
Where the willow
Doth not weep:
Few will wonder
Who lies under,
Life, what is it but a dream?
pages, circa 2' 00"
Additional research into the life and work of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson
(1832-1898) continues, with more verse becoming known. The text for this
song setting is found in "Rare, Uncollected & Unpublished Verse of Lewis
Carroll," collected and annotated by August A. Imholtz, Jr. & Edward
Wakeling, Lewis Carroll Society of North America, 2017, from the Urtext of
Dodgson, "Part I - A New Theory of Parallels," in "Curiosa Mathematica,
Macmillan and Company, 1890.
text is in Appendix IV to the work on mathematics, in which Dodgson writes
of his words, "They were written 'for music,' for which purpose, I imagine,
the amount of sense required is not excessive." After the poem
itself, he adds: "Poetry like this speaks for itself: vain were it to hope
that any poor words of mine serve to illuminate, or even elucidate, its
almost ethereal beauty!" The song setting is of two distinct parts, the
first with dotted rhythm and rhythmic punctuation in the manner of a
self-accusation as follows:
second "solves" the first, as the text moves from a first-person stance to
third, with a possible double reading therein. For this, a last and
well-known question is added to the song setting, as found in his beloved
Looking Glass. "Life, what is it but a dream?"
For other setting of the texts of Charles Dodgson -- Lewis Carroll --
The score is available as a
free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of
the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on
the graphic below for this piano-vocal score.
From a New Theory of Parallels