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The Hall: Lenfest Hall


                                             For Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest     


To build it, someone had to measure sound,

hold a slide rule up to light, while someone

else had to step off the distance they found

between the light and sound. Can light’s sound stun?


To build it, someone had to gauge shadow;

we had to find an expert, a student of light

and dark; who is it that can trace light’s slow

arc (I love a shadow study, a nightslide)?


Between Locust and Latimer, measure

light, sound, timbre of cherry wood, stunning.

Measure shadows you’ve traveled; what was the lure?

Speak to me of the past, why have you come


to be where Lenni Lenape paddled

the Delaware, Schuylkill, Wissahickon,

inland from the surge of the sea: that man saddled

the past and walked across Europe, stricken


with grief, a fugue his only companion;

that woman sings of a village she barely

remembers but visits each night in song.

Speak to me of what you will build (hear) here


in Lenfest Hall, between measures, between

light and sound, light and shadow, shadow-sound.

O shadow sphere, tillers of sound, gleaners;

what light will you make of all you have found? 


                              Commissioned by Curtis Institute of Music  

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