Fallen Eve: V. Fallen Eve
11 Nov 2009
Geoffrey Gordon's song cycle, Fallen Eve, commissioned by the Abelson Foundation, is inspired by the work of British poet laureate Ted Hughes, and sets five Hughes texts for mezzo soprano and mixed chamber ensemble. The texts are not linked in any formal or aesthetic way, other than that they all convey the same antiquitious struggle between good and evil, or perhaps more precisely, innocence and carnal experience. The ubiquitous presence of the serpent in these texts is instructive, and no accident.
Here is the text for this, the fifth and final song in the cycle:
My mouth is the despair of God
Formed only for men.
The serpent remains earthen, brutishly-veined,
Rooted in crevices, living on flies and men --
The serpent that should have strangled me
And then eaten itself.
I sing, stamping the grueling drum-beats
To renew fallen men.
Love is weak to protect as webs.
In April my body begins to frighten me
And my sleep fills wi
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