Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wistfulness of memory

Today, a new Monteverdi;
as the Magnificat rings out
I am transported back forty years.
Young and full of hope
window-sill perched, delighting
in crooked brick walls, London plane trees
and narrow gardens
I am not for a moment aware
of the stifling shadow
when, bereft of my son,
I dwindle towards my death.

The music, triumphant in its own right
with its celebratory trumpets,
and antiphonal choirs,
containing now
this double reality—
the ever-hopefulness of youth,
the diminishment of age—
has acquired a wistfulness,
an echo that will remain
until my end of time.


  1. Few of us have your gift of sharing a life well lived - you continue to inspire, and by showing us your way you help each of us find our own.


  2. Don't you just love the layers of memory that music evokes. I love it when a certain piece has been played often enough that it spans a trajectory of not only hope and shadow, but lots of other moments in between. Love to you, Viv

  3. I love your new poem. It creates a perfect circle and tugs at my heart.For me there is the feeling of the space created by a cathedral with brass playing on the organ and the sun streaming in.

    The way my memory has been affected applies particuarly to music. I could not write such a comparison. Recent research shows that relaxation adis the memory. All those straining students need to know that!

    Love, Miriam