Not All There -
for medium voice and piano
I turned to speak to God
About the world’s despair;
But to make bad
I found God wasn’t there.
God turned to speak to me
(Don’t anybody laugh)
God found I wasn’t there –
At least not over
[ 2 pages, circa 1' 50" ]
These two stanzas paint opposing views of man, although they speak of God as
well. When man cannot or refuses to "find" God, the world's despair is made
worse in Frost's estimation by not having that God to which to speak. But in
truth neither believer nor non-believer may disprove God; in their actions
all they both may do is evidence whether that which is seen to be of God is
proven by their lives. As Darwin witnessed to his "Creator," such witness
might in fact magnify man by magnifying God. Certainly to deny God as seen
through the lenses of the various world religions diminishes man's own value
in a value-laden world.
These two poetic stanzas are mirrored in two strophes in this setting.
Rooted on F though not notated with that key signature, the tonality leans
away from the tonic through the sometimes occurring raised fourth of the
scale employed in five note chords, and the emphasis on the lowered seventh
The score for Not All There 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.
Not All There