Do Not Be Ashamed (2017)

Tenor and Guitar

Text by Wendell Berry, text copyright © 2012 by Wendell Berry, from New Collected Poems. Reprinted by permission of Counterpoint Press. All Rights Reserved.

Total duration ca. 5'30" 

Single-movement work

Premiered in April 2018

in Baltimore, MD by Peter Dayton and Valerie Hsu

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Peter Dayton Music (ASCAP) for: $10.00

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Wendell Berry’s poem “Do Not Be Ashamed” is both illustrative and a didactic. It externalizes the psychological world, painting a nocturnal picture of the addressee’s privacy being intruded on by a hostile, vaguely panopticon-like outside force. It speaks to the experience of the socially rejected and disenfranchised, individuals whose lack of conformity, whose very identity is questioned. Against this bleak procrustean scenario, Berry offers that belief in oneself, truth, radical honesty, and determination overcome the malicious forces that seek to destroy us as unique individuals, ending the poem with a calmly breaking day.