Heart of Earth

Poetry Friday logo by Linda Mitchell

Happy Poetry Friday! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)

More hard family news came our way this week, and life kind of feels like a slog right now. Thank you for all your virtual hugs and good thoughts coming my way! On the plus side, our daughter who’s lived overseas for the past 10 years is back in the States for at least a year or two. Whee! It is SO good to have her here.

And for a writing highlight, something new! Some of y’all might know I’m not the world’s biggest fan of orchestral music. Music without words? Pass.

But choral music, combining words and rhythm and voices and beauty? Yes, please. I don’t know much about the choral music world, actually. But I met Minnesota composer Shruthi Rajasekar at a Minnesota Public Radio event, and I absolutely loved her choral work that premiered there, “Sat on the Shore.” We chatted a bit, and I later sent her a sampling of my poetry, offering to collaborate someday. Shruthi ended up adapting lines from five of my poems into a choral composition called “Heart of Earth.” It was one of several pieces commissioned by her alma mater, Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, for its 50th Birthday Gala Concert. I can’t wait to hear it! The RNCM concert happened today, Thursday, June 22, 2023. It’s being broadcast on BBC3 next Thursday, and I’m hoping to hear it!

One of the poems Shruthi used lines from is “Advice from a Forest.” I wrote and shared this one 5 years ago in a Poetry Sisters monthly challenge.

Advice from a Forest

Shruthi’s lines in “Heart of Earth” are:

Fling your leaves into the sky
Give your apples to the deer
Look up so you will find your way

–Excerpted from “Heart of Earth,” composed by Shruthi Rajasekar

It’s like she shook the dust off my lines so that they sparkle in a new way. It’s so lovely to look at my original words and see them upcycled into a new artwork in a different form! I can’t wait to hear this performance. You can see Shruthi’s entire composition at her blog. This is such an exciting thing to me. Choral music is a new (to me) possibility for sharing my poetry with people. I’m hoping more choral avenues will open up to me! Composers–call me :>D

And for lots more wonderful poetry, don’t miss the Poetry Friday Roundup with artist-educator-poet Linda Mitchell! One of the other poems Shruthi adapted for “Heart of Earth” was the result of one of Linda’s previous clunker challenges!Save

15 Responses

  1. Hugs to you , Laura. I send all my thoughts to you and yours. Love that your words are now a musical element. Hope things are going to be ok.

  2. I’m so sorry about the weight of hard family news and will be thinking of you and yours. In your happier news, I’m delighted with the newest interpretation of your words into music. How cool is that!? Thanks for sharing the originating poem again and the words selected by Shruthi.

  3. “Heart of Earth” is so exciting! I’m happy for you about that, and about your daughter being home. I know you are going to enjoy having her near so much! Sending a hug about your slog. xo

  4. Laura, life throws curve balls when you least expect it but you do have two surprises. I am glad that your daughter will be living closer to you and congratulations about your new venture into music. Poetry is certainly adaptable to many areas that we may not have thought of before. Stay well and find the positivities of a new season.

  5. Laura, I’m sending you hugs. Congratulations, on lines from your poems going into a choral composition! It’s another way for your words, your voice to reach children and people. (Music is a universal language.) I like her adapted lines and I love your poem. The juxtaposition of your two stanzas has a great effect. I especially enjoyed these lines, “Fling your ruby leaves into the sky and watch/ them dance goodbye. / Listen to them sing when kids/ find them later to jump in.” What a great ending, “Never look down. Trust / what you drop will find its way. / Look up so/ you will find yours.” Seems like lines from your poems found their way. 🙂

    I’m excited and happy for your family and you that your daughter is coming back for a few years! 🙂 I can relate to that because our oldest daughter has been living in CO since 2021. We’re visiting her in 2024.

  6. Oh, my goodness…what compliment to your writing and what fun to be part of that process. Having your poetry come to life in that way is kind of a dream come true. No? So glad your daughter is home for a bit. It’s such a joy to hear my adult daughter’s voice in the house. I love it when she visits. Take a few moments when you can to breathe. You will be in my thoughts.

  7. How wonderful to hear your words set to music, Laura! I think poetry and music are natural rhythmic friends. Hugs to you as you work through all the stuff of life. I hope the time with your daughter at home helps.

  8. Wow, Laura, in the midst of your tough news, this collaboration is marvelous. What special gifts your words and her music are offering to the world! Sending positive thoughts to you and yours for finding your own gifts.

  9. Sending a lot of hugs your way, Laura. I’m sorry life is a challenge right now. Hooray for your daughter being the states. I love this post and your words being put to music. So spectacular.

  10. Laura, I am also in the midst of the world I knew falling apart. It’s a hard time that is filled with bittersweet moments. Having incredible smart grand-toddlers helps revive my soul. I am a huge fan of choral music. Please send me a reminder about this event. I will be recovering from surgery and will have time to listen.

  11. Laura, that is fantastic news about your poems being part of “Heart of the Earth.” I will try to listen if I get a chance. I am so sorry about your hard family news.

  12. What an honor, Laura! And an incredible uplift of news to boost your spirits, I hope? Is it synchronicity that the verses may have something to say to you (once again) at this time?
    “Look up so you will find your way

  13. “Accept the fluster of change” — a lifelong lesson. Hugs, Laura!

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