William Blake Songs of Innocence

I like Blake’s poetry and got into him through the Doors who were also influenced by his “the Marriage of Heaven and Hell” which speaks “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite….”. I chose to add music to the “Introduction” to Blake’s “Songs of Innocence” poetry collection.

Here are the words, followed by my music (early effort!):

Piping down the valleys wild,
Piping songs of pleasant glee,
On a cloud I saw a child,
And he laughing said to me:

“Pipe a song about a Lamb!”
So I piped with a merry chear.
“Piper, pipe that song again;”
So I piped: he wept to hear.

“Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe;
Sing thy songs of happy chear:”
So I sung the same again,
While he wept with joy to hear.

“Piper, sit thee down and write
In a book, that all may read.”
So he vanish’d from my sight,
And I pluck’d a hollow reed,

And I made a rural pen,
And I stain’d the water clear,
And I wrote my happy songs,
Every child may joy to hear.

Allen Ginsberg

“Howl” (extract)

I saw the best minds of my generation
destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
Dragging themselves through the Negro streets
at dawn looking for an angry fix,
Angel-headed hipsters burning for the
ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo
in the machinery of night,
Who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high
sat up smoking in the supernatural Darkness of
coldwater flats floating across the tops of cities
contemplating jazz…..

Jim Morrison

“Curses And Invocations”

Weird, bait-headed mongrels,
I keep expecting one of you to rise.
Large, buxom, obese queens,
Garden hogs and cunt veterans,
Quaint, cabbage saints,
Shit hoarders and individualists,
Drag-strip officials,
Tight lipped losers
And lustful fuck salesmen.
My militant dandies,
All strange order of monsters
Hot on the trail of the wood vine,
We welcome you to our procession.

William Blake

“Songs Of Innocence – Introduction”

Piping down the valleys wild
Piping songs of pleasant glee
On a cloud I saw a child,
And he laughing said to me,

“Pipe a song about a lamb”;
so I piped with merry chear.
“Piper pipe that song again”
-so I piped, he wept to hear.
“Drop thy pipe thy happy pipe
Sing thy songs of happy chear”;
So I sung the same again
While he wept with joy to hear.

“Piper sit thee down and write
in a book that all may read”
-So he vanish’d from my sight.
And I plucked a hollow reed,

And I made a rural pen,
And I stain’d the water clear,
And I wrote my happy songs
Every child may joy to hear.

Seamus Heaney

“Mid-Term Break”

I sat all morning in the college sick bay
Counting bells knelling classes to a close.
At two o’ clock our neighbors drove me home. In the porch I met my father crying-
He had always taken funerals in his stride-And big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow.
The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram
When I came in, and I was embarrassed
By old men standing up to shake my hand
And tell me they were “sorry for my trouble”,
Whispers informed strangers I was the eldest,
Away at school, as my mother held my hand
In hers and coughed out angry tear less sighs.
At ten o’clock the ambulance arrived With the corpse, stanched and bandaged by the nurses.

Next morning I went up into the room. Snowdrops
And candles soothed the bedside; I saw him
For the first time in six weeks. Paler now,
Wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple,
He lay in the four foot box as in his cot.
No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear.

A four foot box, a foot for every year.

Emily Dikinson

“Because I Could Not Stop For Death”

Because I could not stop for death-
He kindly stopped for me-
The carriage held but just ourselves-
And immortality.We slowly drove-He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labour and my leisure too,
For his civility-We passed the school, where children strove
At recess-in the ring-
We passed the fields of gazing grain-
We passed the setting sun-Or rather-he passed us-
The dews drew quivering and chill-
For only gossamer, my gown-
My tippet-only tulle-

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground-
The roof was scarcely visible-
The cornice-in the ground-

Since then- tis centuries-and yet
Feels shorter than a day
I first surmised the horses heads
Were toward eternity-.