Let Go. Return


American poet Josephine Johnson’s wise words beckon us to a life of simplicity.
For SATB a cappella.

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Kallman Creates Publications, Composer Daniel Kallman Kallman Creates Publications

Josephine Johnson’s homage to simplicity, set for SATB a cappella. Duration: 3’15”
Also available as part of a set: Two Poems of Josephine Johnson.

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Composer’s Notes

This piece was commissioned by the Concert Choir of the Honors Choirs of Southeast Minnesota, an excellent high school choir. It is the first in the set Two Poems of Josephine Johnson. Here is the text:

This is the need, the deep necessity of every life:
To scatter wide seed in many fields,
But build one barn.

This is our blunder, to have built
Gilt shacks for every seed,
And followed our sowing on fast, anxious feet,
Desiring to grind the farmost grain.

Let go. Let go. Return
Heighten and straighten the barn’s first beam.
Give shape and form. Discover the rat, the splintered stair.
Throw out the dry, gray corn.

Then may it be said of you:
Behold, he had done one thing well,
And he knows whereof he speaks, and he means what he has said,
And we may trust him.
This is sufficient for a life.

–Josephine W. Johnson, from Year’s End, 1937, used by permission.