Every other year, the Ars Nova Singers host “Shared Visions,” a collaborative program in which they invite Colorado artists to submit pieces that are viewed by Colorado poets who write about these pieces. Their poems are viewed by four Colorado composers who each select a poem to create a piece to be sung by the Ars Nova Singers. I’ve had the great fortune to have had three poems already selected for this honor–oh my gosh, such a thrill to hear my words sung and made somehow so much more than just words on a page–and this year a fourth was selected! Inspired by the art of Chris DeKnikker, the piece will be composed by Raul Dominguez. All four of the commissioned works will be performed in June 2024.
To read about all the poets selected, to see the artworks that inspired them and to read about the poets, the artists, the composers and the choir, visit here. The piece that inspired me is pictured here. My poem is below.
Holding Your Heart
I want to trace the rings of your heart
the way I would trace tree rings—
not to count them
but to honor each season of you.
I want to touch my fingertips
to your scars, want to learn
your heart’s stories, find clues
of how you became who you are.
I want to press my palms
to your heart and praise
how it is we grow,
even in disaster, even in drought,
want to praise the dark center,
the time-thick bark, the record
of the ordinary days. I want
to chart the thin slivers of your wounds
and let my hands speak love,
want to tell you in a language
of quiet touch, I see you.
– Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer