The Ragged and the Beautiful (2018)

for SSAA chorus and cello
Commissioned by Brooklyn Youth Chorus
Dianne Berkun Menaker, conductor
Poem by Safiya Sinclair
5 minutes

WORLD PREMIERE
Brooklyn Youth Chorus
Dianne Berkun Menaker, conductor
National Sawdust, Brooklyn, NY
April 27, 2018

The Ragged and the Beautiful
by Safiya Sinclair

Doubt is a storming bull, crashing through
the blue-wide windows of myself. Here in the heart
of my heart where it never stops raining,

I am strange and unbelonging. I am an outsider
looking in. But in the garden of my good days,
no body is wrong. Here every flower grows ragged

and sideways and beautiful. We bloom
with the outcasts, our soon-to-be-sunlit, we dreamers.
Yes. We are just enough of ourselves

to catch the wind in our feathers,
and fly so perfectly away.