for voice and piano (available in high and low versions)
Duration: 13 minutes
Commissioned by Nathan Wilson, in honor of Larry D. Wilson of Beaver Dams, N.Y. – who was born and raised in Stuart’s Kentucky.
Jesse Stuart was a writer and educator from Greenup County, Kentucky. He wrote novels, childrens books, prose, and poetry – his most substantive work being The Man with the Bull-Tongue Plow from 1934. The Irish poet AE called this collection of over 700 sonnets the greatest collection of American poetry since Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. While Stuarts sonnets share commonalities with Whitman’s poetry, the 20th century reader will also find parallels with Wendell Berry. Words connected to the ground, conservation (the absence thereof), working the fields, and the creatures that surround us in nature. These five sonnets from Stuart’s tome capture the spirit of his work and devotion.