Before I began working on verse 2 part 2, I reviewed the piece for tempos. There was something nagging at me while away from the computer with a feeling that parts of the piece sound too frantic. I reduced the tempo in part 1 of both verses from 156 to 148. I left the introduction at 156. I like this better as the mood is slightly calmer and there is more time for the flute commentary to come out cleanly.
Part 2 of verse 2 was slow-going. I had trouble finding just the right harmony and rhythm. Once I found what I was looking for, every note and rhythm had to be absolutely perfect. This may sound strange because composers do want every note to be the right one, but in faster more complex sections, I find this is less critical than in slow exposed sections. It was painstaking to do this, but I am pleased with the results. I can also envision the rest of the piece. I won't say much more now except to say that there comes a point in composing that enough has been written that all becomes clear. I am now at that point and expect that I should be able to finish the movement tomorrow.
One other thing surprised me. I originally thought that there would be a clear distinction between the end of verse 2 and the beginning of verse 3. That did not occur. Instead, the mood change will take place on line 3 of the 3rd verse. The formal structure of the poem does not always match the formal structure of the music. I guess that is what we call "artistic freedom" just like when I changed the order of Whitman's words to suggest an ambiguity that complimented the music. I feel that when setting poetry that "artistic freedom" is essential and a composer should not be bound by using the structure or words exactly. You will also notice I repeated a phrase or two of Whitman's poem for this reason.
To see and hear what I have written thus far, go to http://www.cooppress.net/fourpoemsblog.html