Sunday, January 23, 2011

First Vision

A few years ago, at the bicentennial celebration of the birth of Joseph Smith, I was commissioned to write the libretto for a series of five tenor solos composed by David Sargent. This was performed in late 2005 with Lawrence Vincent, tenor soloist and Scott Holden, pianist. I enjoyed working with the composer, who was more than happy to deal with a five-beat line. So, over the next five days, I'm going to post the five sonnets that I did for that occasion. If I can dig up the recorded music, I'll post it here, too.

First Vision
by Gideon Burton
from "In Burning Vision: Sonnets on Joseph Smith" (2005)

It had been raining, softly, through the leaves,
as though to clean the elms, the forest floor,
to douse again the April earth that heaves
its greens to bluest heaven--pleasant chore.
Unlike the sweat and dust of farming days,
the breaking of the sharp, unyielding soil,
to plant again, to hope for warming rays
that sleeping seeds may feel them and uncoil
to burst from shriveled darkness into light,
as though to answer heaven's calling sun
who visits us with columns of his might,
who gives us knowledge pure where there was none.
     It fell to Joseph Smith as light, as rain:
     First, vision, tiny root of godly gain.

Photo: flickr - Aquistbe

1 comment:

  1. Did you ever find the music?? I want to hear it! :)