Rachmaninov, Spring, and the Prodigality of Existence

Sergei_Rachmaninoff_cph.3a40575In the next few days I will be posting a poem that I have endeavored to compose.  Until that time I would like to provide a bit background for the occasion for this poem’s inspiration.  It came, as most inspirations do, unexpectedly from the most mundane of circumstances: listening to some music and taking in the scenery while driving through my neighborhood.  The music playing was a song written by the great Russian composer, Sergei Rachmaninov.  “Spring Waters”, is a short piece written by the composer, as far as I can tell, around 1906.  It was occasioned by the joy of emerging from the long winter as the snow melts before spring’s approach.  The song, like the season it celebrates, radiates a vitality that makes one feel as if they are being born aloft breeze.

It was from listening to a song of this sort that I considered the particular beauty of this day.  What struck me that day and continues to strike me about spring in general is sheer vividness of its colors. I have in mind particularly the budding leaves from the trees against sky.  The contrast and interplay of the greens and blues of such vibrant richness is stunning.

And so from this song and taking in the marvelous sights of spring I began to reflect on amazing fact that things of such beauty actually exist and that they can be marveled upon by creatures.  They can be marveled upon by creatures who can see that beauty and compose music or write a poem about it for no other purpose than to express utter delight.  From such thoughts came a joy that was nearly effervescent.  To that end I sat down to compose something that expressed, however inadequately, the wonder that I felt.

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