“Heaven to Those Who Are Asleep”

Volume 8 of Heron Tree is dedicated to found poems. “Heaven to Those Who Are Asleep” by C. E. Janecek is a collage of medieval songs and chants. Please click here to read.

About the poem and its composition, C. E. writes:

“Heaven to Those Who Are Asleep” is a poem from my undergraduate thesis, Strange Medicine, which I wrote in 2019. I sought to revive foundational texts through cento, cut-up, and collage in order to challenge masculinist notions of single authorship and view history through a non-linear lens. Some of my poems in the collection wove modern and medieval texts, others reimagined the lives of Shakespearean characters, and others still, like “Heaven to Those Who Are Asleep,” simply came from appreciating the traditional hymns themselves. This poem wouldn’t exist without the phenomenal artistic and academic work of Utopia Early Music, founded by Prof. Christopher LeCluyse and Prof. Emily Nelson, who spend tireless hours translating hymns and folk songs from Old English, Latin, and many other languages, along with all of the musicians at Utopia bringing to life music as it might have sounded hundreds of years ago. Going to their concerts transported me to a different time and helped me approach the poetry and music of the Middle Ages from a place of curiosity and creativity.