Le Tombeau d'Edgar Poe

Last night, the Nashville Symphony did a performance dedicated to Edgar Allan Poe featuring Stravinsky's SYMPHONY OF PSALMS and Rachmaninoff's THE BELLS. As you can imagine, we bought tickets early. How can you not love the idea of music inspired by Poe's writing?

In between the two Russian masters was a piece by composer Dominick Argento called Le Tombeau d'Edgar Poe. It was quite brilliant, playing off of my favorite Poe poem, Annabel Lee. Listening to this unique interpretation, I was struck by a realization. So much of our social networking is dedicated to saying something. Something important, eloquent, worthy. I've blogged for years with this purpose in mind: to edify, educate and elucidate my purpose.

What I rarely do is share my inspirations. They hit me daily, in large ways and small. It can be something as simple as the smile of a stranger, or as complex as a movie script. Poems, fragments of conversations, links I find interesting - my zeitgeist - has been largely missing.

So this space will now have some less elucidating, education and edifying pieces. No less worthy, I think, but perhaps more an exploration of my own personal zeitgeist without extensive essays to "explain" my thoughts.

Let me start with Le Tombeau, then. The Tomb of Edgar Poe, inspired by the brilliant Annabel Lee. How apropos.

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

~Edgar Allan Poe