Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Woman Pining In The Cool Twilight

Let the lilac's leaves fall off like raindrops
I will take you away ......
Vladimir Vysotsky

Sister to the rain
sitting in her long blouse
with point d'esprit lace, moisture
splashed on the window
in a similar way --

she plays the mandolin.

Lilac leaves shine through,
(sweet-ballad green) as she sings
to a man in the room. His presence
laid -out in music sheets
and picture  frame.

He always told her --
words first, then melody,
and in love-making
whispering followed by
an expressive silence.

The singing stops.
She lays her instrument aside
and listens to a light
downpour in the trees.

Candle half-melted, her shadow
glides over his face, a luminous echo
under glass.

Some background notes on this --  I was watching  a French documentary on Carla Bruni (Sarcozy) and how she has become a singer/poet in her own right. She has taken poems by Auden, Yeats and other formalist writers and turned them into beautiful ballads, meant to be sung. She has also wrtten some love songs of her own. She does quite an exiuisite job and many of her lyrics with accompanied music are poignant and filled with longing. She also mentioned how in France or preferred

by French listeners/writers/people, the words prevail over the music.Their signifcance and meaning come first. I was partially inspired by her outlook and fondness for the guitar. And secondly, on the same day, I watched another documentary on folk singer, Joan Biaz and her remarkable ability to sing and express old ballads with a soprano voice and exquisite chords, whether played on mandolin or guitar. So both fused into the female character seen here and the implied theme of someone lamenting their lover/partner/mentor. The title was evoked by one of Auden's loveliest poems, "Lady Weeping At The Crossroads", which Carla Bruni has put beautifully to music.

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