Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Time for a Poem

I can imagine that you are just about as sick of hearing about me and my new hip as I am of thinking about it. So today I will share a poem I encountered in the latest New Yorker. Any mention of a viola reminds me of someone about the age of the French horn player who effortlessly made beautiful music on his viola.

French Horn
by Jane Hirschfield

For a few days only,
the plum tree outside the window
shoulders perfection.
No matter the plums will be small,
eaten only by squirrels and jays.
I feast on the one thing, they on another,
the shoaling bees on a third.
What in this unpleated world isn’t someone’s seduction?
The boy playing his intricate horn in Mahler’s Fifth,
in the gaps between playing,
turns it and turns it, dismantles a section,
shakes from it the condensation
of human passage. He is perhaps twenty.
Later he takes his four bows, his face deepening red,
while a girl holds a viola’s spruce wood and maple
in one half-opened hand and looks at him hard.
Let others clap.
These two, their ears still ringing, hear nothing.
Not the shouts of bravo, bravo,
not the timpanic clamor inside their bodies.
As the plum’s blossoms do not hear the bee
nor taste themselves turned into storable honey
by that sumptuous disturbance.


Blogger lacochran said...

"I can imagine that you are just about as sick of hearing about me and my new hip as I am of thinking about it."

Good for you for getting a new focus!

I can no longer read a reference to Mahler without thinking of Susan Werner singing "and Mahler makes me want to do myself in..." :)

1:28 PM  
Blogger tut-tut said...

Interesting that you chose to post a poem. I've been turning more and more to poetry lately. This is a lovely one.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Lacochran -- Yeah, some composers do have that effect.

Tut-tut -- I wish I had a poet's mind. But instead I must enjoy the work of those who do!

5:11 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

This makes me think of the spring so soon to come.

10:14 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin -- Just 4 weeks away!

10:47 PM  
Blogger GEWELS said...

I could just see that plum tree's laden branches.
Nice poem.
Glad to hear you're getting more and more mobile. I'm sure you are THRILLED

8:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The plum tree in the back yard where I live has already time-lapse-bloomed to fullness, and is now even more rapidly scattering its white petals like confetti across three adjoining yards...


5:51 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Gewels -- In some ways the music seems just background for the flowering plum tree.

Anon -- Ah yes, the plum tree in the back yard. I'm looking forward to your description of the tree as spring progresses.


9:58 PM  

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