The Core (2014)


Text by Ronald Johnson

Total duration ca. 2'15"

Single movement work

Premiered in June 2015

in Baltimore, MD

by Joshua Glassman and the Mt. Vernon Consort

Listen to a recording of this work on Spotify

Audio clip performed by David Moore and the First Readings Project


Purchase this score from

Peter Dayton Music (ASCAP) for: $1 per copy

This short poem by Johnson addresses, in mystical tones, the desire for clarity, transparency, equivalency between perception and reality, so that words themselves have a physical quality of realness “you can put your foot through.” The Core, in aching brevity speaks to our search for truth, with the past tense “wanted” suggesting that this poem comes at the end of a long search, still not fully completed.


"The Core," by Ronald Johnson, from Poetry magazine, June 1972, used by permission of the Literary Estate of Ronald Johnson.