Sunday, October 6, 2013

Poetry about Water: Playlist for October 4, 2013

Psychoanalysis of Water

By Forrest Gander b. 1956

The clock here is quiet.  

Into the rain’s applause,  

a woman rises

fatigued. Tablets

dissolve in a glass by the bed.  

The wind lifts, branches  

animating inconsonant darkness.

She undoes her gown,  

lays it over the bedpost.  

Seductive leg hair. Almost

dawn, she makes coffee like that. 


Low thunder, glints

of lightning, the dog’s

concern. Rain on the roof,  

friends walking across my grave,  

her mother told her, that’s all  

I listen for.

And why not the hiss and wake  

of cars on the wet road

bursting into transparence under tents  

of streetlight, winking out  

into afterglow. Glances that catch  

anonymous faces at windows  

in early lit houses like her own. 


This way she drifts off, mesmerically.  

The bathtub overflowing.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Poeme elegiaque by Eugene Ysaye



Fountains in the sea

By Marin Sorescu 1936–1996


Water: no matter how much, there is still not enough.

Cunning life keeps asking for more and then a drop more.

Our ankles are weighted with lead, we delve under the wave.

We bend to our spades, we survive the force of the gusher.



Our bodies fountain with sweat in the deeps of the sea,

Our forehead aches and holds like a sunken prow.

We are out of breath, divining the heart of the geyser,

Constellations are bobbing like corks above on the swell.  


Earth is a waterwheel, the buckets go up and go down,

But to keep the whole aqueous architecture standing its ground

We must make a ring with our bodies and dance out a round

On the dreamt eye of water, the dreamt eye of water, the dreamt eye of water.



Water: no matter how much, there is still not enough.

Come rain, come thunder, come deluged dams washed away,

Our thirst is unquenchable. A cloud in the water’s a siren.

We become two shades, deliquescent, drowning in song.



My love, under the tall sky of hope

Our love and our love alone

Keeps dowsing for water.

Sinking the well of each other, digging together.

Each one the other’s phantom limb in the sea.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: String Quartet in F (1st movement) by Maurice Ravel


In a Garden

By Amy Lowell 1874–1925


Gushing from the mouths of stone men

To spread at ease under the sky

In granite-lipped basins,

Where iris dabble their feet

And rustle to a passing wind,

The water fills the garden with its rushing,

In the midst of the quiet of close-clipped lawns. 


Damp smell the ferns in tunnels of stone,  

Where trickle and plash the fountains,  

Marble fountains, yellowed with much water. 

Splashing down moss-tarnished steps  

It falls, the water;

And the air is throbbing with it;

With its gurgling and running;

With its leaping, and deep, cool murmur. 


And I wished for night and you.

I wanted to see you in the swimming-pool,  

White and shining in the silver-flecked water. 

While the moon rode over the garden,  

High in the arch of night,

And the scent of the lilacs was heavy with stillness.  


Night and the water, and you in your whiteness, bathing!

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Reflections In the Water by Claude Debussy


Painting A Wave

By Howard Moss 1922–1987


“Painting a wave requires no system,”

The painter said, painting a wave.

“Systems may get you flotsam and jetsam,

Seaweed and so forth. But never a wave.”


There was a scroll or fine-lined curve

On the canvas first, and then what looked

Like hair flying or grayish nerves,

Which began to move as the painter worked.


“Painting the sea is a lot of trouble;

It never stops still for a moment, so

I try to make it internal, mental,

As though I stopped it, then let it go.”


Something began to pulse and tumble

Out of the brushes, the ink, the chalk;

A long black line commenced to tremble,

Then, like a fishline, started to jerk . . .


With what at the end? “I think I’ve caught it.”

A drop of water hung by a hair.

“If I could only stop it a minute!”

The drop began to race somewhere, 


Spreading out in every direction,

A bird of thread, caught in a storm,

Trying to say, “Connection! Action!”

But in the end it was very calm. 


Soon there was water under water,

And over the sand a sun . . . a moon?

Who could have seen that wave of water

One night ago? Or a thousand and one? 


Who could have seen the lid of water

With its thin mascara of buoys and corks,

With its lined horizon’s distant glimmer

Of maybe a skyline like New York’s?


Now there will be that morning evening

Tide dyeing the water’s pulse,

The wave drying in ink. The Wave.

Moving, momentous, motionless.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Suite for Violin, Clarinet and Piano by Darius Milhaud








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