“A Crazed Girl” is a setting of the similarly titled poem by William Butler Yeats. The tragic poem is a literal telling of Yeats’ relationship with the mentally unstable Margot Ruddock. Her infatuation with Yeats is analogous to that of the sea. Yet at once impassioned, both impartially move forward without her.
That crazed girl improvising her music.
Her poetry, dancing upon the shore,
Her soul in division from itself
Climbing, falling She knew not where,
Hiding amid the cargo of a steamship,
Her knee-cap broken, that girl I declare
A beautiful lofty thing, or a thing
Heroically lost, heroically found.
No matter what disaster occurred
She stood in desperate music wound,
Wound, wound, and she made in her triumph
Where the bales and the baskets lay
No common intelligible sound
But sang, ‘O sea-starved, hungry sea.’
Free Score Available
Premiere recording of Elizabeth Kimble, soprano; Kevin Korth, piano
San Francisco Conservatory of Music
April 22, 2011
Amy Foote, soprano; Stepan Rudenko, piano
Zion Lutheran Church San Francisco
May 14, 2011