Friday, April 17, 2009

K. 219, Adagio, by Jan Zwicky

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major K219, Adagio
with Janine Jansen violin, European Union Youth Orchestra, Vladimir Ashkenazy conductor

Now the sky above New Mexico
is hazy with Los Angeles, what words
will you invent for clarity?

Some things were always nameless:
the heart as a rainbarrel,
the ear a long-stemmed glass.

The fiddle is still maple turned with starlight,
the bow, breath with a backbone,
sweet with sap.

That long trill
is a hand that lifts your hair
a final time, sunlight, a last kiss

that knows it is the last.
And the phrase that follows:
a small voice talking to itself, how

some moments are so huge
you notice only little things:
nicks in the tabletop, the angle of a fork.

Drink. It
is what you will have
to remember:

rain's vowelless syntax,
how mathematics was an elegy,
the slenderness of trees.

in Songs for Relinquishing the Earth, Brick Books, 1998


Roxana said...

oh dear manu, where do you find these poems that make my heart ache?

manu said...

roxana! i have missed you. this week of quiet... it's been lonely sometimes

but a little book of her poems found me and kept me company, gentle and true

i heard her speak at an event here in toronto a while back, and she also read some poems of sue sinclair's (amazing) - and i've had an open call for all of her (their) books ever since.

Roxana said...

me too.

and she is amazing, the more i read what you post of her, the more i like her.

Manuela said...

i think you'd like her philosophical writings, too. i'll let you know when i get hold of those... i am persistent... ;)

vv said...

that's it exactly Roxana, poems that make my heart ache...

Manuela said...

some moments are so huge
you notice only little things

and -

The Feet, mechanical, go round --

and then -

we ache into life