Sunday, July 06, 2008

Sunday Poetry: Dies Irae

Side-by-side Latin and English here.

It's not really a "poem," but a kind of "song" called plain chant. The music used in daily Catholic worship and rites was standardized for the entire liturgical year and a system was formalized for writing it all down. Pope Gregory the Great is generally credited for doing this about thirteen hundred years ago, but it's really a lot more complicated than that. The melodies and songs themselves are probably much older.

Dies Irae painted by Federico Correa.


wunelle said...

I love how often this chant is quoted in compositions since.

wunelle said...

(and it's good to note the tenor of one of these foundation stones of Society's Big Myth. These were not happy people; the Sticky Dick Cheneys of the day, methinks.)