Luanne Koper read Shelley's "Mutability" at the memorial service for our friend Rob Zseleczky. She read it because Shelley was Rob's favorite poet, and because it was entirely appropriate for the occasion. It was when she read it that I was first able to cry.
The poem was slightly familiar to me because the last two stanzas appear in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, but I had otherwise never heard or read the poem. All the years I heard Rob talk about Shelley (and there were many years, and much talk of Shelley), I never read any of his work.
I considered setting "Mutability" as a song, but it is one of those poems that doesn't need music to make it better understood, and using music to illustrate a reading of it would only prove a distraction. I ended up writing a 3-minute piece for violin, viola, and cello about the poem, and it really helped me to work through some of my grief.
And I think I'll spend some time reading more of Shelley's poems.
You can listen to my wordless setting of "Mutability" here.
You can read Michael's posts about Rob (including one of his poems) here.
You can download the score and parts here.