On December 5, this past Monday, I went to hear a performance by Anonymous 4 at Saint Francis Cathedral. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this ensemble, you’ve been missing something special. These four musicians/singers create sounds with nothing but their own voices that are as close to perfection as anything I’ve ever heard.
They sing mostly liturgical music from the Middle Ages. On this night they also sang some secular songs in Old French. But they have become famous for their mastery of that very difficult genre known as Gregorian Chant.
To express my impressions of the evening, the subject and the performance, I have written this riddle, entitled, “4 Anonymous 4”. The answer is in P2, L4.
I’ll be writing more about this subject within a few weeks.
"4 Anonymous 4"
Who Am I,
Refreshing, carried on breeze,
Bringer of renewal and hope,
And rarely felt sense of ease.
Though once known only
In my first home
Behind impenetrable walls,
Wafting high above,
Mixing with the All.
I still find haven in remote places such,
Yet have lost none of my
Power to awe or to touch.
I am a bringing–together,
Reminder of that yet to be done.
In a multitude find me,
But only as one.
I drift and float, high and low,
Sometimes back and forth
Speaking only to you,
Or so it may seem.
I am at my best when
Carried softly aloft, always invisible,
By heart and wind defined.
Yet my presence has also taken form
As marvelous illuminating design
There, on parched document,
Appealing somewhat more to the mind.
As such in black and white I dwelt,
Sometimes with color and glue to bind.
Delicate patterns of line and stroke
Soft rhythm and beauty still keenly felt.
Of a once great wheel, I was but one–spoke
In language understood by all.
And even now, carrier of
Deep mystery and greater hope.
Today find me mostly in
Magical, invisible code,
Consisting only of one and none.
Often on disc of glistening
And shining silver.
Row on row, is where I now find abode.
As well in streaming of Ether code.
But to in chant you further,
I will yet three more clues deliver.
Find my name, seventh out of twenty–six,
In a jewel–case by no hands made,
Falling backward in soft flurry of clicks.
If my identity still remains obscured,
Look back and within to a time when
One word left all assured.
Be sure to drop in at tripsandquips
for a slightly different presentation of this poem.
Thanks, and Happy Trails to you
From Santa Fe, New Mexico
The Land of Enchantment