Clear Pool

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Secular Chinese text in English translation by Japanese artist/poet Kodojin
Duration: 6 minutes
Difficulty rating (1-5): 4

Premiered March 3, 2002 by Vox Caelestis Women’s Chorus, Downers Grove, IL, directed by Paul Carey

The text for this poem has a lot of great imagery. Much of the music is pretty avant-garde, and some of it is quasi-Eastern, ie., pentatonic scales, suggestion of shakuhachi flute playing, etc. At the end, a rather ominously insistent drum represents the dragon hiding in the depths of the pool, and the music comes to a wild climax as the dragon flies out of the pool with great energy.


Clear pool,
how many thousands  feet deep?
Its clear tones impossible  to hear,
reflections in it, cut off from worldly dust.
What floats on it shows the form of the divine.
Sun moon, constellations shine down;
Plants and trees on cliff faces, all green.  
Should a hibernating  dragon leap out of it,
Heaven and Earth would suddenly turn dark.





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