Monday, August 2, 2010

one, two and three

One



From Joshua Harris' blog :) On a related note, do wander over to have a look at his blog sometime, he's put up a free chapter from his latest book, Dug Down Deep there.

Two

The Guardian has put up one of Shaun Tan's stories from his new book, Tales from Outer Suburbia. Like so many of his other illustrations, it's quite disarmingly poignant. Link to the story is here.

Three

Poem of the week at The Guardian is the Schubertiad, a poem loosely based on Schubert's String Quintet. I say that its loosely based and the Guardian says that its a translation of music into text - a statement I find curious.

Why a translation? It connotes a direct transfer of similar ideas from one language to another and I'm unsure if music can ever be translated into art or poetry. The creative arts don't quite work that way.

I do know this: being a music lover who can't play any instrument properly hurts. Perhaps I insist on poetry partly because I'm unable to express myself musically. The pain from being shut out of that world is quite raw and real, rising up before my face with every piano sonata.


Schubertiad

After the String Quintet in C, D956

One moment before it starts –
one breath.

Light stills
in the meadow,

stalls at oaks
and the river's silver line.

For an instant
your stomach turns over –

as if you missed yourself

and this minute
and the next

were already a memory.

*

Sometimes,
world slips from beat to beat
like a song.

The afternoon fills
with lokum's evasive scent,
deep notes of cherry,

and there are saucers of honey
and peaches and a girl
who leans on a cushion to sing –

Open your notebook,
catch
how she throws out the tune

as if she tongued
a rose
between her lips –

*

Wanderer, the wide river
shines in the morning sun.
Between the country and the city -
see it run.

You'd like to run with it
to a quiet place, in fields
time and sickness never visit
and joy shields.

Too soon the flood and battened sluice,
the detritus of a life
that's been turned adrift
on this tide

which now seems beautiful and bright:
the river's backdrop to the kiss
you borrowed from daylight
and bring to Dis.

*

Waiting (stateliest of the modes)
among Greek key, acanthus,
shuttered glass
and the light snagged in stucco –

where each fa├žade rises
in stillness
and stone grows
infinitesimally –

you feel a creak and strain:
spring ice
yawing on its tethers.
You poor soul.

Without summer's garlands and girls
you're quite bare,
bespectacled and alone
in that soiled bed.

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