.

Introduction

In a second-hand bookshop, located in the French Quarter (New Orleans), I discovered a poetry book by Margaret Hunt Brisbane (1858-1925). It had been in mid spring of 2005, a couple of months before Hurricane Katrina sorely afflicted New Orleans. I sensed that Mrs. Brisbane’s pure verse and poetic descriptions were highly suitable to be turned into songs. As a debut, Powerpoets has now put music to one of her most brilliant poems. This is to honor Johnnie Hunt, as she was formerly known, “forever and evermore”!

—Guntbert “Gunny” Markefka
Originator, co-producer, lead vocals and bass of the Powerpoets band project

.

.

Forever and Evermore

by Margaret Hunt Brisbane 

Out of the sunshine, darling,
Out of the sunshine bright,
Into the deeps of darkness
Into the blinding night—
Out of the golden vapors
That cling to the dawn’s sweet door—
Into the timeless shadows
Forever and evermore!

Where are the rosy fingers
Held in my stronger hand?
Was it a dream, my darling
Gone to some far dreamland?
Was all but a fairy fruitage
A passionate love-tree bore?
Lost are the fairy fingers
Forever and evermore.

Once in the springtime, darling,
They nestled here in my own;
Stayed till the bloom-crowned summer
Had climbed to her sun-dropped throne—
Stayed till the leaves of autumn
Their yellow and crimson wore
But today you have taken them from me
Forever and evermore.

The springtime’s magical murmur,
The flow of the gurgling streams,
That tangled in silvery music
In and out of my dreams,
But flowed through my anguished spirit
To break on another shore,
But their tearlike traces shall linger
Forever and evermore.

Don’t turn away from me, darling,
Those sweetest of sweet, sweet eyes;
I want their light to shine over
This saddest of sad, goodbyes—
Goodbye to the rapture of loving
Goodbye to the bliss it bore.
Goodbye to the passion of passions
Forever and evermore!

.

.


NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets.

NOTE TO POETS: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to mbryant@classicalpoets.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here.


CODEC News:

11 Responses

  1. DONALD PETER McCRORY

    What a fortunate discovery! And to put the verse chosen into music is also so worthwhile. The best of many so-called pop songs depend on lyrical verse, hence the need of poetry.

    As for the recording, the human voice has to be heard well above the sound of the music and so i would recommend that the music that accompanies the song be toned down by at least 30, 40%. And so good luck with your music and musical versions of really good poems!

    Reply
    • Guntbert Markefka

      Dear Donald,

      I am grateful for your comments! I share your views on “pop songs”. When I had read – as a teenager – Shelley´s “Lines to an Indian Air” in F. T. Palgrave´s “Golden Treasury of the best Songs and Lyrical Poems in the English Language” putting music to classical poems has been my favorite mode of singing and my other work benefits from this, also.

      Concerning your recommendation: we have been discussing this item a lot. I kept it like this, because I have this idea of a new song genre, which I call “Dance Poetry”. For me both: reading and dancing poetry are valuable. Nevertheless, we shall put more effort into the improvement of your suggested ratio for the upcoming releases.

      Kind regards,

      Gunny

      Reply
      • DONALD PETER McCRORY

        THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR PROMPT REPLY!

        I LOVE BOTH POETRY AND OPERA AND CERTAINLY, IN THE BEST OF OPERA, EVEN WITH AN ORCHESTRA OF 30 40 50 plus the words of the arias are heard distinctly.
        HAD I NOT READ THE LYRICS AS THEY WERE SUNG IN YOUR RECORDING, I WOULD HAVE MISSED QUITE A FEW.

        THAT SAID, KEEP UP SUCH STERLING EFFORTS AND MAY 2022 BRING YOU EVERY SUCCESS.

        Donald

    • Guntbert Markefka

      Dear Paul,

      This is a great encouragement for me. Thank you very much indeed!

      Kind regards,

      Gunny

      Reply
  2. Joseph S. Salemi

    These are all traditional and fine trimeter lines, and they are not strangulated by fanatical syllable-counting or the absurdity of “perfect meter.” Look at these lines:

    LOST are the FAIry FINGers (seven syllables, trochaic start))

    But toDAy you have TAKen them FROM me (ten syllables, triple dactyls)

    Several other lines in the poem maintain a perfect triple stress, but they aren’t crammed into the straitjacket of iambics.

    Reply
    • Guntbert Markefka

      Dear Joseph,

      What a fine analysis! I realize now, why it is so much fun to sing this song.

      Kind regards,

      Gunny

      Reply
  3. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    I love the story of the discovery of this poetic treasure in a second-hand bookshop, located in the French Quarter of New Orleans – I have a children’s book of poetry I found in a French Quarter book shop (maybe the same one). I also love the music it inspired and the comment from Joseph Salemi that leads to a greater understanding of the wonder of this art.

    Reply
    • Guntbert Markefka

      Dear Susan,

      Thank you very much for your valuable comments! The second-hand bookshop? Well, I have not been in New Orleans after the storm, but it was probably either “Crescent City Books, 228 Decatur St, or Beckham’s Book Shop, 240 Chartres St. What do I remember vividly is this marvelous poetry bookshelf. I purchased three books there: Margaret Hunt Brisbane, Werner Eggerth and Edward Rowland Sill. I had been worried for quite some time, because MHB and W. Eggerth were having no internet search results, until recently. Now I am happy that both poets are known in the digital realm.

      Kind regards,

      Gunny

      Reply
  4. Motohiro Nishibori

    It is wonderful and interesting to see how a poem he found in New Orleans in 2005 was put to music 15 years later. Margaret Hunt Brisbane’s state of mind when the poem was written and the singer’s state of mind when he recorded it are not exactly the same. However, when I listen to his voice, the overlap between Margaret’s feelings and the singer’s compassion to her is wonderful and encouraging.

    What is important is that he was inspired by the poem written by Ms. Margaret maybe more than 100 years ago, then he set it into music. The circumstances surrounding the world may be different in different times, but the fundamental human emotions remain the same. It is a wonderful thing to be inspired by the good old things and to take them to your own senses to make steps for the next generation.

    Reply
    • Guntbert Markefka

      Dear Motohiro,

      Thank you very much for eloquent and thought-provoking comment!

      I convey my very best wishes to Tokyo & Kyoto city

      Gunny

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.