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Sonnet 5 Inspires the World of Pop

ALBUQUERQUE, NM — July 27, 2019 — Sonnet 5, subtitled “For Elizabeth,” from MacKenzie’s Sonnets for Christ the King, has inspired award-winning composer, producer, and vocalist Donn Hall to craft a timeless song in the contemporary pop genre, based on music by Don Shearer. With its positive, updated vibe, soaring vocal lines, transcendant harmonies, and beautifully textured piano ochestration, Hall’s setting of Sonnet 5 combines classic style with the very latest elements of today’s popular sound.

The remarkable collaboration of a taditional lyric poet with a classically-trained composer who is also a first-rate vocalist has resulted in the creation of MacKenzie & Hall, a partnership operating under the PoemSongs.com “label” which intends to produce more songs based on MacKenzie poems.

The relationship promises to be groundbreaking in that so-called “lyrics,” created by committees and serving only to “set up” a chorus, have become a shopworn convention in today’s industry. Only exquisite, traditionally-crafted poems, the work of authentic men of letters, are able to convey a classic sense of timelessness. MacKenzie & Hall have also confirmed a truth of songwriting first shown by Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour when he set Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 to music in 2006. The 400-year old English sonnet continues to stand the test of time.

Sonnet V

For Elizabeth

If charm were a country, then you would be
Its capital of many domes and spires
Gilded and gleaming off a crystal sea,
And graced with every art that love inspires.

If beauty a nation, then you, its queen,
Would wield the scepter of love’s dazzling power,
Beguiling all thy subjects with serene
And regal allure from a silver tower.

Alas, the fairest flow’rs remain unknown
Behind the garden walls of married life;
And thou, the loveliest, shouldst not bemoan
The humble title of a poet’s wife:

To capitals yet made these lines proclaim
Eternal love, and gild thy beauty’s fame.

From Sonnets for Heaven’s Queen © Joseph Charles MacKenzie. All rights reserved.

Joseph Charles MacKenzie is a traditional lyric poet of New Mexico. He is First Place winner of the Scottish International Poetry Competition (Times Literary Supplement, Jan 27, 2017) and a Pushcart Prize nominee. His verses have appeared in The New York Times, The Scotsman (Edinburgh), The Independent (London), US News and World Report, Google News, and many other outlets. He writes for Trinacria (New York) and the Society of Classical Poets (New York).

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