Before I started work on verse 3, I went back and reviewed what I composed thus far. There was something bothering me about what I wrote and it nagged at me frequently while away from my computer. When I went through the piece today, I realized that the biggest problem was that some of the words were on the wrong beat. So I changed the meter in spots so that some of the words that were on beat 3 of the 9/8 are now on beat 1 of the new 6/8 measures. I also added an extra beat to the clarinet reflections at the end of each part of the verse so that there is a bit more repose before moving on. The piece now has a nice balance between 6/8 and 9/8 so it is not too patterned yet at the same time, it fits the rhythm of the words.
The third verse is again modified strophic. The rhythm of the melody, some notes of the melody, some of the harmony, and the counter melodies all have variations. The ending is a reflection of my interpretation of the poem. The word "Solitude" has two feelings associated with it. One is loneliness and the other is peace. I enjoy having time by myself, but Wilcox's poem seems to emphasize the loneliness part of solitude. Yet underlying that loneliness is a sense of self-reliance. If we learn to be strong against life's adversities, then we can survive and achieve a sense of happiness in being by ourselves. It is this dual sense of "solitude" that I tried to capture in my setting of the poem and the ending is vague as it is neither happy nor sad.
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