April is National Poetry month.
There are several sites that will send you a poem a day for the 30 days. You can sign up with The Academy of American Poets at: www.poets.org/poemaday
This poem by Alfred Brendel comes from Poetry International Web (with thanks to Donna B)
When Christo had wrapped the Three Tenors
on the balcony of La Scala
the civilised world fell unnaturally silent
through the sack-cloth
in horror and glee
by opera-lovers attending the spectacle
but where that desperate ear-splitting top-note
It may however be assumed
to have come from the middle
and more voluminous
of the celebrities
whose mummified contour
began to quiver
at his feet
an envoy from the world’s freest country
voiced his concern about such curbing
if not gagging
of human communication
Opera-buffs will be pleased to learn
that the wrapping
in grey plastic
of Robert Wilson and Peter Sellars
halfway up Cologne Cathedral
has been confirmed
and will commence
in due course
© Translation: Richard Stokes and Alfred Brendel
I have a feeling some of my readers may have already written to tell me that I should re-check the poet’s name, because Alfred Brendel is an Austrian pianist. It’s true, and he is, but he is also a poet.
Alfred Brendel’s place among the greatest musicians of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries is assured. Renowned for his masterly interpretations of the works of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms and Liszt, he is one of the indisputable authorities in musical life today and one of the very few living pianists whose name alone guarantees a sell-out anywhere in the world he chooses to play.
“I am not exclusively a musician, as the past few years have clearly shown,” says Brendel. “I now lead a kind of double life. There has been an upsurge of my literary life with frequent poetry readings and Collected Poems in German and French. I am looking forward to my retirement from the stage to do more writing and lecturing”.