12-2 Midnight 1741

This afternoon at 3 PM, a community chorus in W-Salem, plus full orchestra and soloists, performs Handel’s Messiah, for the 86th year. We singers practiced over 22 hours through November! Handel is an interesting biography.

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.


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