This is a re-post, for Adrienne, may you rest in peace.
Prelude in B minor, arranged for piano by Alexander Siloti
from Prelude in E minor BWV 855a by J. S. Bach
with Emil Gilels
Your small hands, precisely equal to my own -
only the thumb is larger, longer - in these hands
I could trust the world, or in many hands like these,
handling power-tools or steering-wheel
or touching a human face...such hands could turn
the unborn child rightways in the birth canal
or pilot the exploratory rescue-ship
through icebergs, or piece together
the fine, needle-like shreds of a great krater-cup
bearing on its sides
fingers of ecstatic women striding
to the sibyl's den or the Eleusinian cave -
such hands might carry out an unavoidable violence
with such restraint, with such a grasp
of the range and limits of violence
that violence ever after would be obsolete.
in The Fact of a Door Frame: Poems Selected and New, 1950-84, WW Norton & Co (1985)
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Gioachino Rossini - Overture, Il Barbiere di Siviglia
O such a commotion under the ground,
When March called: "Ho! There! Ho!"
Such spreading of rootlets far and wide
Such whisperings to and fro!
"Are you ready?" the Snowdrop asked,
"'Tis time to start, you know."
"Almost, my dear!" the Scilla replied,
"I'll follow as soon as you go."
Then "Ha! ha! ha!" the chorus came
Of laughter sweet and low,
From millions of flowers under the ground,
Yes, millions beginning to grow.
"I'll promise my blossoms, " the crocus said,
"When I hear the black bird sing."
And straight thereafter the Narcissus cried,
"My silver and gold I'll bring."
"And ere they are dulled," another spoke,
"The Hyacinth bells shall ring."
But the Violet only murmured, "I'm here,"
And sweet grew the air of Spring.
O the pretty brave things, thro' the coldest days
Imprisoned in walls of brown,
They never lost heart tho' the blast shrieked loud,
And the sleet and the hail came down;
But patiently each wrought her wonderful dress
Or fashioned her beautiful crown,
And now they are coming to ligthten the world
till shadowed by winter's frown.
And well may they cheerly laugh "Ha! ha!"
In laughter sweet and low,
The millions of flowers under the ground,
Yes, millions beginning to grow.
poem from the Parabola website
Friday, March 20, 2015
Franz Schubert - Impromptu No 3 in G flat major Op 90 D 899
with Grigory Sokolov
I am clearing a space
here, where the trees stand back.
I am making a circle so open
the moon will fall in love
and stroke these grasses with her silver.
I am setting stones in the four directions,
stones that have called my name
from mountaintops and riverbeds, canyons and mesas.
Here I will stand with my hands empty,
mind gaping under the moon.
I know there is another way to live.
When I find it, the angels
will cry out in rapture,
each cell of my body
will be a rose, a star.
If something seized my life tonight,
if a sudden wind swept through me,
I would not resist.
I am ready for whatever comes.
But I think it will be
something small, an animal
padding out from the shadows,
or a word spoken so softly
I hear it inside.
It is dark out here, and cold.
The moon is stone.
I am alone with my longing.
Nothing is happening
but the next breath.
poem from the Gratefulness.org website
Many blessings to you all on this New Moon-Eclipse-Equinox time of clearings and new beginnings.
Sunday, March 15, 2015
Ludwig Van Beethoven - Fifth Symphony, I - Allegro con brio
Forget your life. Say God is Great. Get up.
You think you know what time it is. It’s time to pray.
You’ve carved so many little figurines, too many.
Don’t knock on any random door like a beggar.
Reach your long hands out to another door, beyond where
you go on the street, the street
where everyone says, “How are you?”
and no one says How aren’t you?
Tomorrow you’ll see what you’ve broken and torn tonight,
thrashing in the dark. Inside you
there’s an artist you don’t know about.
He’s not interested in how things look different in moonlight.
If you are here unfaithfully with us,
you’re causing terrible damage.
If you’ve opened your loving to God’s love,
you’re helping people you don’t know
and have never seen.
Is what I say true? Say yes quickly,
if you know, if you’ve known it
from before the beginning of the universe.
poem from The Threshold Society website
translated by Coleman Barks