Sunday, December 15, 2013
Giacomo Puccini - Vissi d'arte, from Tosca
with Angela Gheorghiu
No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief,
More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring.
Comforter, where, where is your comforting?
Mary, mother of us, where is your relief?
My cries heave, herds-long; huddle in a main, a chief
Woe, world-sorrow; on an age-old anvil wince and sing —
Then lull, then leave off. Fury had shrieked ‘No ling-
ering! Let me be fell: force I must be brief’.
O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall
Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap
May who ne’er hung there. Nor does long our small
Durance deal with that steep or deep. Here! creep,
Wretch, under a comfort serves in a whirlwind: all
Life death does end and each day dies with sleep.
poem from here
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Antonio Vivaldi - Concerto No. 4 in F minor, Op. 8, RV 297, "L'inverno" (Winter)
Part II. Largo
Not the loss alone,
But what comes after.
If it ended completely
At loss, the rest
But you go on.
And the world also.
And words, words
In a poem or song:
Aren't they a stream
On which your feelings float?
Aren't they also
The banks of that stream
And you yourself the flowing?
poem from Concerning the Book that is the Body of the Beloved
Copper Canyon Press, 2013
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Franz Schubert - "An den Mond", op. 57 No.3, D 193
with Rita Streich, voice and Erik Werba, piano
I love the dark hours of my being.
My mind deepens into them.
There I can find, as in old letters,
the days of my life, already lived,
and held like a legend, and understood.
Then the knowing comes: I can open
to another life that's wide and timeless.
So I am sometimes like a tree
rustling over a gravesite
and making real the dream
of the one its living roots embrace:
a dream once lost
among sorrows and songs.
from Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God
translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Maurice Ravel - Bolero
These poems, these poems,
these poems, she said, are poems
with no love in them. These are the poems of a man
who would leave his wife and child because
they made noise in his study. These are the poems
of a man who would murder his mother to claim
the inheritance. These are the poems of a man
like Plato, she said, meaning something I did not
comprehend but which nevertheless
offended me. These are the poems of a man
who would rather sleep with himself than with women,
she said. These are the poems of a man
with eyes like a drawknife, with hands like a pickpocket’s
hands, woven of water and logic
and hunger, with no strand of love in them. These
poems are as heartless as birdsong, as unmeant
as elm leaves, which if they love love only
the wide blue sky and the air and the idea
of elm leaves. Self-love is an ending, she said,
and not a beginning. Love means love
of the thing sung, not of the song or the singing.
These poems, she said....
You are, he said,
That is not love, she said rightly.
poem from The Beauty of the Weapons: Selected Poems 1972-1982 (Copper Canyon Press, 1982)
as posted at poetryfoundation.org
post inspired by this blog
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
with Alberto Neuman
Rain hitting the shovel
leaned against the house,
rain eating the edges
of the metal in tiny bites,
bloating the handle,
The rain quits and starts again.
There are people who go into that room in the house
where the piano is and close the door.
They play to get at that thing
on the tip of the tongue,
the thing they think of first and never say.
They would leave it out in the rain if they could.
The heart is a shovel leaning against a house somewhere
among the other forgotten tools.
The heart, it's always digging up old ground,
always wanting to give things a decent burial.
But so much stays fugitive,
where it can't be reached.
the piano is a way of practising
speech when you have no mouth.
When the heart is a shovel that would bury itself.
Still we can go up casually to a piano
and sit down and start playing
the way the rain felt in someone else's bones
a hundred years ago,
before we were born,
before we were even one cell,
when the world was clean,
when there were no hearts or people,
the way it sounded
a billion years ago, pattering
into unknown ground. Rain
hitting the shovel leaned against the house,
eating the edges of the metal.
and starts again.
from Sudden Miracles: Eight Women Poets
edited by Rhea Tregebov (Second Story Press, 1991)