Psalms of Despair was composed in the fall of 1996 as the result of a commission from the Atlantic Arts Trio
through the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council.
I wanted to find a text that expressed the searing and visceral pain of abject despair,
and after months of searching, discovered that portions of the biblical Psalms expressed these feelings
better than anything I had come across. I found it fascinating that words written perhaps
three thousand years ago could speak so directly and personally to someone living in our time. It suggests that
there has been no evoloution whatsoever in our emotional and intellectual makeup as humans over that time;
the ways in which we respond to life's challenges does not seem to have changed much in three thousand years.
I took some liberties with the text, excerpting selected lines from three different Psalms that conveyed the bleakness I wished to express, ordering the lines as I wished, changing words on occasion, and even adding a couple of lines.
©Clark Winslow Ross