Saturday, September 20, 2014

Poems about Music & Musicians: Playlist for September 19, 2014



The Fair Singer

By  Andrew Marvell  

 

 

To make a final conquest of all me,

 

Love did compose so sweet an enemy,

 

In whom both beauties to my death agree,

 

Joining themselves in fatal harmony;

 

That while she with her eyes my heart does bind,

 

She with her voice might captivate my mind.

 

 

I could have fled from one but singly fair,

 

My disentangled soul itself might save,

 

Breaking the curled trammels of her hair.

 

But how should I avoid to be her slave,

 

Whose subtle art invisibly can wreath

 

My fetters of the very air I breathe?

 

 

It had been easy fighting in some plain,

 

Where victory might hang in equal choice,

 

But all resistance against her is vain,

 

Who has th’advantage both of eyes and voice,

 

And all my forces needs must be undone,

 

She having gained both the wind and sun.






 

In Golden Gate Park That Day . . .

By  Lawrence Ferlinghetti  

 

 

In Golden Gate Park that day

 

                           a man and his wife were coming along  

 

         thru the enormous meadow

 

                           which was the meadow of the world  

 

He was wearing green suspenders

 

                              and carrying an old beat-up flute

 

                                                                        in one hand  

 

      while his wife had a bunch of grapes

 

                                  which she kept handing out

 

                                                                         individually  

 

                                                      to various squirrels

 

                                                                           as if each  

 

                                                             were a little joke

 

 

      And then the two of them came on

 

                                                thru the enormous meadow  

 

which was the meadow of the world

 

                                                 and then

 

            at a very still spot where the trees dreamed

 

         and seemed to have been waiting thru all time

 

                                                                            for them  

 

             they sat down together on the grass

 

                                              without looking at each other  

 

                and ate oranges

 

                                    without looking at each other

 

                                                            and put the peels  

 

             in a basket which they seemed

 

                                       to have brought for that purpose  

 

                  without looking at each other

 

 

      And then

 

                  he took his shirt and undershirt off  

 

       but kept his hat on

 

                                    sideways

 

                                                and without saying anything  

 

             fell asleep under it

 

                                           And his wife just sat there looking  

 

at the birds which flew about

 

   calling to each other

 

                           in the stilly air

 

      as if they were questioning existence

 

                   or trying to recall something forgotten

 

 

But then finally

 

                   she too lay down flat

 

                                                and just lay there looking up  

 

                                                                               at nothing  

 

                        yet fingering the old flute

 

                                                                which nobody played

 

                            and finally looking over

 

                                                                at him

 

                  without any particular expression

 

                                                               except a certain awful look  

 

                        of terrible depression






 

 

Music Between Strangers

By  Stephen Sturgeon  

 

 

A sycamore grove, and in its limbs

 

the orchestra played Má vlast, so I saw

 

boughs bouncing and tuxedo legs

 

swinging sap-spotted above the splayed

 

blades of the ground feathered black

 

in moss, in the sweat of the set sun,

 

and the players’ faces where moths roosted,

 

where leaf-points drew water-stripes

 

on brows and eyelids, their hands

 

that stirred in pollen like a fog, were masked

 

by birds’ nests and bows and flaking vines.

 

 

That you were last to climb down,

 

trumpet tied to your back with blue twine,

 

is the only thing I believe in,

 

and after you landed, drifting

 

through a stream, in a mat of orange needles,

 

you whistled to what light could float

 

through the leaves’ screen and canopy, diffuse

 

like tracing tissue, a scrum of benday dots,

 

            and not much at that,

 

now that more than the concert has ended,

 

                            my musician.

 



 

 

Yes, I live inside the piano”

 

By  Katerina Rudcenkova  

Translated By Alexandra Büchler  

 

Yes, I live inside the piano,

 

but there is no need for you

 

to come and visit me.


 

 

The Piano Speaks

By  Sandra Beasley   
 

 

 

After Erik Satie

 

For an hour I forgot my fat self,

 

my neurotic innards, my addiction to alignment.

 

 

For an hour I forgot my fear of rain.

 

 

For an hour I was a salamander

 

shimmying through the kelp in search of shore,

 

and under his fingers the notes slid loose

 

from my belly in a long jellyrope of eggs

 

that took root in the mud. And what

 

 

would hatch, I did not know—

 

a lie. A waltz. An apostle of glass.

 

 

For an hour I stood on two legs

 

and ran. For an hour I panted and galloped.

 

 

For an hour I was a maple tree,

 

and under the summer of his fingers

 

the notes seeded and winged away

 

 

in the clutch of small, elegant helicopters. 


 

 

 

Blues for Almost Forgotten Music

 

By  Roxane Beth Johnson 

 

 

I am trying to remember the lyrics of old songs

 

                                                            I’ve forgotten, mostly

 

I am trying to remember one-hit wonders, hymns,

 

                                              and musicals like West Side Story.

 

Singing over and over what I can recall, I hum remnants on

 

                                                             buses and in the car.

 

 

 

I am so often alone these days with echoes of these old songs

 

                                                          and my ghosted lovers.

 

I am so often alone that I can almost hear it, can almost feel

 

                                                        the half-touch of others,

 

can almost taste the licked clean spine of the melody I’ve lost.

 

 

 

I remember the records rubbed with static and the needle

 

                                                                     gathering dust.

 

I remember the taste of a mouth so sudden and still cold from

 

                                                                         wintry gusts.

 

It seemed incredible then — a favorite song, a love found.

 

                                                                It wasn't, after all.

 

 

 

Days later, while vacuuming, the lyrics come without thinking.

 

Days later, I think I see my old lover in a café but don’t,

 

                                                                        how pleasing

 

it was to think it was him, to finally sing that song.

 

 

 

This is the way of all amplitude: we need the brightness

 

                                                                         to die some.

 

This is the way of love and music: it plays like a god and

 

                                                                       then is done.

 

Do I feel better remembering, knowing for certain

 

                                                                       what’s gone?

 

 

 

 

 

Roxane Beth Johnson, “Blues for Almost Forgotten Music” from Jubilee. Copyright © 2006 by Roxane Beth Johnson. Reprinted by permission of Anhinga Press.

 

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