28. März 2011

My Grandmother’s Love Letters

Bild: Léon Samoilovitch Bakst "Narcisse: A Bacchante" [via Wikimedia Commons]

My Grandmother's Love Letters

There are no stars tonight
But those of memory.
Yet how much room for memory there is
In the loose girdle of soft rain.

There is even room enough
For the letters of my mother’s mother,
That have been pressed so long
Into a corner of the roof
That they are brown and soft,
And liable to melt as snow.

Over the greatness of such space
Steps must be gentle.
It is all hung by an invisible white hair.
It trembles as birch limbs webbing the air.

And I ask myself:

“Are your fingers long enough to play
Old keys that are but echoes:
Is the silence strong enough
To carry back the music to its source
And back to you again
As though to her?”

Yet I would lead my grandmother by the hand
Through much of what she would not understand;
And so I stumble. And the rain continues on the roof
With such a sound of gently pitying laughter.


19. März 2011


Hört, hört euch diese Musik an... (unten geht es weiter)

Piazzolla "Oblivion" (Rastrelli Cello Quartett)

"Sowohl der Leiter des Rastrelli Quartetts, Kira Kraftzoff, als auch zwei seiner Kollegen, Kirill Timofeev und Mischa Degtjareff stammen aus St. Petersburg. Der Name Bartholomeo Rastrelli ist mit St.Petersburg untrennbar verbunden, denn er war der geniale italienische Architekt, der im 18. Jahrhundert berufen wurde, die neue Hauptstadt Russlands zu erbauen.

Den hervorragenden Arrangements von Sergio Drabkin ist es zu verdanken, dass sich vier russische klassisch ausgebildete Cellisten zu einem Ensemble zusammengefunden haben, was sich auf ganz neues musikalisches Terrain begeben hat. Im Repertoire des Quartetts existiert kein einziges Musikstück, das ursprünglich für vier Celli geschrieben wurde. Die große Ausdruckskraft und Wandlungsfähigkeit von Kira Kraftzoff, die er seinen ehemaligen Schülern Mischa Degtjareff und Kirill Timofeev erfolgreich weitergeben konnte, erlauben es dem Ensemble, sich auf großer musikalischer Bandbreite zu bewegen. Das Cello imitiert oft die Stimme eines Saxophons oder muss manchmal wie ein Bandoneon klingen können. Es ist immer wieder bemerkenswert, wie die einzelnen Instrumente zu einem neuen Gesamtklang verschmelzen." mehr

Weil es so schön war, hier nochmals:

Libertango aus dem Film "The tango lesson"

17. März 2011

Why I'm not fleeing Japan

Ein sehr guter Artikel vom heutigen Tage von Paul Blustein in "The Washington Post":

"If there is anything to worry about, it is that the perception of Japan as an unsafe country will inflict all kinds of economic and psychological damage. That would compound the tragedy it is enduring, hamper its ability to recover and elevate the challenges it faces just when it is most in need of support.

The Japanese have, for example, woken up in recent years to the need to promote their nation as a tourist destination - but how many millions will forgo visiting Kyoto's exquisite temples for fear of radiation exposure? Japan's premium-quality rice, fruit and other foods have begun selling well in the nouveau riche markets of Asia, offering hope that the nation's notoriously cosseted agriculture might become more open and modern. Will those export markets dry up if Japanese food acquires a nuclear taint?

The number of Japanese who study and work abroad must increase so the nation can cope with globalization more effectively - but will this happen if Japanese anticipate being treated as some sort of freaky gamma-ray-emitters? As my former colleague Rob Stein reported Monday, people from areas near past nuclear accidents have been stigmatized and shunned, making them all the more prone to stress-related illness.

I admit that when news broke about the power plants I wondered whether dangerous particulates might drift to our home. But when I read past the headlines, I learned that the risks were negligible for virtually all 125 million residents of the Japanese archipelago (except, of course, the heroically courageous plant workers).


All the more imperative, then, that perspective be kept. If foreigners recoil at Japanese vacations, job postings, products or people because of irrational fears about radiation, they will deepen and prolong the trauma that nature has inflicted. In a few months, Japan should be its recognizable self, maybe even brimming with vitality stemming from a renewed sense of national purpose. The trains will once again be astonishingly punctual; the food will be delectable and plentiful. Once that happens, foreigners will hopefully recognize that Japan - with its Great Buddha and so many other wonders - remains an extraordinarily safe place. " unbedingt weiter lesen

You've nothing to lose but your chains

Ihn den ganzen Tag lesen, hören, fühlen...

Six Years Later
So long had life together been that now
the second of January fell again
on Tuesday, making her astonished brow
lift like a windshield wiper in the rain,
so that her misty sadness cleared, and showed
a cloudless distance waiting up the road.

So long had life together been that once
the snow began to fall, it seemed unending;
that, lest the flakes should make her eyelids wince,
I'd shield them with my hand, and they, pretending
not to believe that cherishing of eyes,
would beat against my palm like butterflies.

So alien had all novelty become
that sleep's entanglements would put to shame
whatever depths the analysts might plumb;
that when my lips blew out the candle flame,
her lips, fluttering from my shoulder, sought
to join my own, without another thought.

So long had life together been that all
that tattered brood of papered roses went,
and a whole birch grove grew upon the wall,
and we had money, by some accident,
and tonguelike on the sea, for thirty days,
the sunset threatened Turkey with its blaze.

So long had life together been without
books, chairs, utensils—only that ancient bed—
that the triangle, before it came about,
had been a perpendicular, the head
of some acquaintance hovering above
two points which had been coalesced by love.

So long had life together been that she
and I, with our joint shadows, had composed
a double door, a door which, even if we
were lost in work or sleep, was always closed:
somehow its halves were split and we went right
through them into the future, into night.

Aus der "Time Magazine"-Ausgabe vom 19. Juni 1972:
SOVIET UNION: A Poet's Second Exile

"One of the passengers in the planeloads of Soviet Jews who disembarked at Vienna airport last week was a bewildered young man of 32 who declared: "They have simply kicked me out of my country, using the Jewish issue as an excuse." The reluctant expatriate was Joseph Brodsky, who is widely regarded in Russia and the West as one of the U.S.S.R.'s finest poets.

Brodsky's expulsion was puzzling.The Soviets have sometimes "invited" Jews and non-Jews whom they regard as troublemakers to leave Russia. But Brodsky—who is Jewish—is not an active dissident, a Zionist or a political poet. Last month he was simply summoned by the Soviet secret police and told that he must leave Russia or "things would become worse." It was a threat that could not be ignored. He was forced to leave behind his elderly parents and his young son, who is in the custody of the child's mother. His departure seemed to fulfill the prophecy he made in a 1965 poem, alluding to Karl Marx's famous phrase:

Adieu to the prophet who said:

"Forsooth, you've nothing to lose but your

chains." In truth there's also your conscience—no

trivial thing."

Begleitet wurde ich heute abends von der Melancholie des European Jazz Trios "Fur Elise"... (European Jazz Trio DVD "Afternoon in Amsterdam" / Trio: Marc van Roon - piano, Frans van der Hoeven - bass, Roy Dackus - drums)

Mehr von und über Brodsky:
... und andere Zuneigungen // Joseph Brodsky // Teuerste, heute spät abends // Men die, writers do not

6. März 2011

You don't know what love is

* * *
Der Tee aus einer alten grünen Tasse -
Er schmeckt nach einer neuen Frühlingssucht.
Die Teerose aus dem roten Altstadt-Becher -
Sie riecht nach reifen Kirschen und dem Durst.

Dein Atem wird den Nächten Kleider reißen
Sie werden nackt in Wolken Walzer drehen.
Bist du derjenige, der dafür haftet,
Dass ich mein Leben ohne dich nun leb?

Ein fremder Mann geht mit mir abends zu den Sternen,
Hält meine Arme, meine Lippen an dem Trunk.
Verzeihen solltest du dir selbst und gar nicht ich dir,
Dass unsre Liebe mit dem Frühling nicht erblüht.

06. März 2011, vormittags

Nina Simone "You don't know what love is" (via wundervolle A.)