1913, the great cataclysm brewing
Strauss and Hofmannsthal
Take a road trip
‘Zerbinetta’ in their trunks.
The prickly poet, tiny and neat
Sits next to the lanky maestro
(All princely bemusement)
Deftly webbed in their misunderstanding
And fitful simpatico
One borne on myth and complexity
One who wears his musical suit
With stylish ease
(His very breathing touched with notes)
Both still lustful for lightness and gaiety
Yet drawn inexorably to the heavy German plod
The Wagnerian amble
That inhabits their being, separate and one.
These patrician men
Sit up high in their chauffeured car
And let the words uncoil.
Italy, light, beauty, disorder
Loosens tongues and visions.
The shrewish darts
Of the poet’s tongue are stilled
In worship of divine potential.
To wit, the salvation of love and its trials
The deft reworking of eastern myth
The delight in the unborn
(All incomprehensibility redeemable by them)
As human forgiveness enriches the heart.
Together, a rug over their bony knees
The erudite and the gemütlichkeit
Zig Zag around the narrow roads
Almost flying like the falcon
Energised by the fluttered hunt of creation.
They draw out possibilities
Sharing the scent of discarded beauty
Producing the ordered clarity (born of argument and headaches)
While the unchallenged complexity
Lays dormant between them:
A gentle zephyr on their stony faces
They listen with expectation
To the hum of discovery:
Chilled in respect
Of the twin flames
Wort und ton
That burnish each other with glimpses of the eternal
In the moonlight, between San Michele and Bozen.
One too deep
One fitfully so.
Together on that back seat
They struggle to yield a glittering talisman
Brandished with the blood of creation
Pitching their imagined audience
Into deep peril
And even deeper delight.
In the uplifting sweep
They edge towards the light of understanding.
In the shaft of glowing sounds
Comes the whisper of uttered perfection
The divine encumbrance that wistfully bestows
A breath of fire above their heads
These two old men lost in their reverences
Revealing in snatches the wholly new and unexplored.
Oh komm, du wunderbares ding, O komm!
Like magic kites
Creativity and collaboration swirl in the air:
Musician and poet sit in their car
And practice the bonds of love.
Gar Jones: April 2017