Homage to Ralph Vaughan Williams

Homage to Ralph Vaughan Williams

An earthy man he was
Of English soil alone
Yet roots deep seeking,
Beneath those of any tree,
Any flower of any field
Thus the universal root
Of simple songs, simple men
Deep as Earth Herself
Deep as human tears.
Even France was too far
To trawl for tunes,
But the sea between
Held an infinite supply.

No theory, only practice
Head bound from first breath
  to heart
    and heart to song
      and song to soul
        and soul to all souls.
True to the tread of his times
Striding through the winds
That skirt the storms of war
He wrested sounds that
Looked and sounded wrong
But, they’re right! He boomed
Out of the swirling center
Whose cries he voiced.

Houses of worship
Too narrow for his God,
He lived outdoors
Worshipping as he walked
But his art wanted to sail
Only the deep waters,
Sources and secrets
Unfolding mantric
Intertwining voices
Beauty-bound
Rugged, lone
Standing on earth
Crying to heaven
Questing the infinite
That presses its glowing mist
Close upon our common lives.

– Durjaya Pliske.

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