This prelude and postlude pair was written for Robert Giambruno and the Installation Service of Pastor Lenny Szeto at Zion Lutheran Church in San Francisco on June 21, 2015. They are based on the hymn (LSB 784) by Henri A. C. Malan (1787-1864).
Vachel Lindsay (1879-1931) was briefly famous in the 1910’s as a traveling singing poet who would chant or sing his own poetry while wandering through the United States. Yet later in life he faded into obscurity, often bartering his pamphlet “Rhymes to Be Traded for Bread” in exchange for food. Lindsay eventually commit suicide by ingesting Lysol. This setting of four poems was commissioned by Carrie Zhang and her Classical Trio Impromptu for their performances in the Bing Music Series at Stanford Hospital.
“There was a little turtle. He lived in a box. He swam in a puddle. He climbed on the rocks. He snapped at a mosquito. He snapped at a flea. He snapped at a minnow. And he snapped at me. He caught the mosquito. He caught the flea. He caught the minnow. But he didn’t catch me.”
“Each storm-soaked flower has a beautiful eye. And this is the voice of the stone-cold sky: ‘Only boys keep their cheeks dry. Only boys are afraid to cry. Men thank God for tears Alone with lost years.”