There has been some debate. Never mind how long or how intense. It is about two of my favorite composers; Johann Brahms and Clara Schumann. I have taught Master-classes about them, I have studied their music, and have attempted to play their notes with the passion they composed with. The debate has been going on since they died, and I am sure long before that. No matter Brahms hot temper - he loved Clara. He could never offend her. His beautiful Romance was undoubtedly written for her. Out of respect for them, I must post this poem. Lisel Mueller wrote it, and I cannot say it any better. In other words: Stop debating. Let their music speak for them. It tells us everything we need to know. (As if it were our business in the first place.)

"The modern biographers worry
"how far it went," their tender friendship.
They wonder just what it means
when he writes he thinks of her constantly,
his guardian angel, beloved friend.
The modern biographers ask
their rude, irrelevant question
of our age, as if the event
of two bodies meshing together
establishes the degree of love,
forgetting how softly Eros walked
in the nineteenth century, how a hand
held overlong or a gaze anchored
in someone's eyes could unseat a heart,
and nuances of address not known
in our egalitarian language
could make the redolent air
tremble and shimmer with heat
of possibility. Each time I hear
the Intermezzi, sad
and lavish in their tenderness,
I imagine the two of them
sitting in a garden
among late-blooming roses
and dark cascades of leaves,
letting the landscape speak for them,
leaving us nothing to overhear."

1 comment:

Lizzy said...

I like this. I didn't know that about them until you told me. Cute.