At 3 p.m. I’ll sing bass in Winston-Salem’s 84th community chorus-orchestra performance of Messiah. Some time ago, this inspired the following. His bio is interesting–how he was at the top of composing operas but fell out of favor and became destitute.
Midnight August 1741
A music sheet was barren as a skeleton
on a table by his piano, curling in humidity.
Tonight, sweat dribbled down his nose
and he flicked it with his quill pen,
watched it arc in candlelight and splat on
scraps of lyrics on the floor.
He glanced at an Isaiah passage penned on paper
and heard a voice singing across the ages
Comfort ye my people. Then Messiah’s words
The trumpet will sound pierced his mind
With a piccolo trumpet prelude.
Lyrics and harmonies and violins and woodwinds
began swirling like eddies in the Thames
as he felt a river of blackest ink
burst through his melancholy
and he dipped his pen
to scribble the first note.