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




                                                      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




                                                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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