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Song Texts for Teen Poetry Contest

The winner of our contest has been named, and will be performing with us on January 21 and 22, in Cave Junction and Grants Pass. Lauren Matusiak, 17 years old and a senior at GPHS, will read her poetry in response to selected texts from those below.

A Boy and a Girl

Stretched out on the grass
a boy and a girl.
Savoring their oranges,
giving their kisses like waves exchanging foam.
Stretched out on the beach,
a boy and a girl.
Savoring their limes,
giving their kisses like clouds exchanging foam.
Stretched out underground,
a boy and a girl.
Saying nothing, never kissing,
giving silence for silence.

Octavio Paz (1914 – 1998)
(Translated from the Spanish by Muriel Rukeyser)

Abendlied (Evening Song)

German text:
Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend werden, und der Tag hat sich geneiget.

English translation:
Bide with us, for evening shadows darken, and the day will soon be over.

Biblical text, Luke 24:29

I have ere this time

I have ere this time heard many one say:
Take time while time is for time will away.
Who-so that great affairs have to be done,
Which at their own will they may despatch soon,
Let no deferings of time be used,
Lest they be far off when they would be sped.

Thomas Whythorne (1528 – 1595)

If I Had

If I had, oh if I had a grandson, yes, oh, yes,
and a chest full of lots and lots of money,
Then plain to see, I would have had a daughter, yes, oh, yes,
and fields so rich and hives full of honey.
Tra la, la la la la la la la la la!
If I had, oh if I had a daughter, yes, oh, yes,
and fields so rich and hives full of honey,
Then plain to see I would have had a lover, yes, oh yes!
with chest full of lots and lots of money.
Tra la, la la la la la la la la la!

Oh, If I had…!

J. P. Jacobsen (1847 – 1885)
(Translated from the Danish by Gunilla Marcus)

Linden Lea

Within the woodlands, flowery gladed,
By the oak trees’ mossy moot,
The shining grass blades, timber shaded,
Now do quiver underfoot;
And birds do whistle overhead,
And water’s bubbling in its bed;
And there for me, the apple tree
Do lean down low in Linden Lea.
When leaves, that lately were aspringing,
Now do fade within the copse,
And painted birds do hush their singing,
Up upon the timber tops;
And brown leaved fruits a-turning red,
In cloudless sunshine overhead,
With fruits for me the apple tree
Do lean down low in Linden Lea.
Let other folk make money faster,
In the air of dark-roomed towns;
I don’t dread a peevish master,
Though no man may heed my frowns.
I be free to go abroad,
or take again my homeward road,
To where, for me, the apple tree
Do lean down low in Linden Lea.

William Barnes (1801 – 1886)

Remember

Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

Christina Rossetti (1830 – 1894)

September

Shadows grow longer and longer
till suddenly they are but one.
Stars shining stronger and stronger
are shining as bright as the sun.
Clouds, with their eyes closed in dreamless sleeping;
Flowers with their eyes wet from silent weeping;
strangely the evening breeze
stops soothing the treetops.

J. P. Jacobsen (1847 – 1885)
(Translated from the Danish by Gunilla Marcus)

The Changing Seasons

When winter is over and spring has begun,
When nature is warmed by the rays of the sun,
Our prospects are raised by the opening year,
And fruits are expected when blossoms appear.
A time of refreshing we hope is at hand;
The voice of the turtle dove is heard in our land.
O, may many blossoms appear to our eye,
And O, that these blossoms should perish and die.
For the seasons are changing, are changing with time.
There’s nothing but grace can these blossoms unfold,
Grace only preserves them from winter’s dread cold;
Great fountain of grace, we then look upon thee;
Thy grace is sufficient, we’ve no other plea.
For the seasons are changing, are changing with time.
O cast us not off when to thee we would come,
‘Tis here that the wanderer finds him a home;
It is here alone that the weary find rest,
‘Tis by thee alone that we seek to be blest.
For the seasons are changing, are changing with time.

from Ananias Davisson’s “Supplement to
the Kentucky Harmony”, ca. 1820

The World

I saw Eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light,
All calm, as it was bright;
And round beneath it,
Time in hours, days, years,
Driven by the spheres
Like a vast shadow moved; in which the world
And all her train were hurled;
The doting Lover in his quaintest strain
Did there complain;
Near him, his lute, his fancy, and his flights,
Wit’s sour delights,
With gloves, and knots, the silly snares of pleasure,
Yet his dear treasure
All scattered lay, while he his eyes did pour
Upon a flower.

Henry Vaughan (1621 – 1695)