What I’ve Been Singing This Week: The Cloths of Heaven


Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths, Enwrought with golden and silver light, The blue and the dim and the dark cloths Of night and light and the half light, I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. – See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19413#sthash.wI2AAhrg.dpuf
Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths, Enwrought with golden and silver light, The blue and the dim and the dark cloths Of night and light and the half light, I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. – See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19413#sthash.wI2AAhrg.dpuf

The Cloths of Heaven is a song composed by Ivor Gurney, (1890-1937) set to a poem (Aedh wishes for the Cloths of Heaven) by Irish poet W B Yeats ( 1865-1939). In the video above Anthony Hopkins reads the poem.

Below is the song interpreted by Ian Bostridge.

Gurney led a tragic life. He passed his final 15 years in mental institutions, dying at 47 of Tuberculosis, in an asylum in Dartford, having been moved there after an escape attempt, far from his native and beloved Gloucestershire. His decline seems to have been triggered by his experiences during World War I. Nevertheless, his output as both poet and composer was prolific. He wrote some 200 songs and 300 poems. I was interested to note that he spent some time as a soldier on a signalling course, in Seaton Delaval in Northumberland, my own childhood home.

English tenor Ian Bostridge, (1964-) was an Oxbridge scholar before embarking on a singing career, receiving a D.Phil from Oxford in 1990. His book Witchcraft and Its Transformations was published as an Oxford Historical Monograph in 1997. You can find out what Ian’s up to singing-wise on his Facebook page.

Ann

About AnnIsikArts

Artist/Writer, Proofreader/Copy Editor
This entry was posted in Art, Music, Singing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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