Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday Poetry: Schumann and Weick, Brahms Never Married

Robert Schumann

Hardly a day passes by I don't think of him
in the asylum: younger

than I am now, trudging the long road down
through madness toward death.

Everywhere in this world his music
explodes out of itself, as he

could not. And now I understand
something so frightening, and wonderful-

how the mind clings to the road it knows, rushing
through crossroads, sticking

like lint to the familiar. So!
Hardly a day passes I don't

think of him: nineteen, say, and it is
spring in Germany

and he has just met a girl named Clara.
He turns the corner,

He scrapes the dirt from his soles,
he runs up the dark staircase, humming.

Mary Oliver
(From the collection Dream Work published in 1986.)


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