Monday, April 18, 2011

Trilogy (after Berlioz)

(based on suggestions from @_camer0n, @matchtrick, @alphabetsoupmag, @ernmalleyscat)

Just before he dies, a thought of his

beloved rings out like a reminder.

He imagines her three times.

She is tied to a third that repeats

and expands like the ivory still grew.

He cannot span his knuckles to play her.

Her motif is the ideal marriage of notes

Wedded to his mind until it fills every

brain cell; she is his fixed refrain.

He cannot escape this fine idea.

A pale, staring man surfaces in the artist,

does not blink at betrayal's fanfare.

He sees her dancing with the witches.

Dosed up with clarinets, he waits

A trilogy of poppies bloom in his eyes.


Today's poem is based on suggestions from four peeps:

  • @_camer0n: "there is a brief, nostalgic recollection of the idée fixe in a solo clarinet"
  • @matchtrick: "The tritone. IF YOU DARE."
  • @alphabetsoupmag: "fanfare"
  • @ernmalleyscat: "How about a poem about pale staring men?"

After Cam's suggestion I was all "to the Googles!" and found it in the wikipedia article about Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique. The symphony 'tells the story of "an artist gifted with a lively imagination" who has "poisoned himself with opium" in the "depths of despair" because of "hopeless love." '

"The author imagines that a young vibrant musician, afflicted by the sickness of spirit which a famous writer has called the wave of passions [la vague des passions], sees for the first time a woman who unites all the charms of the ideal person his imagination was dreaming of, and falls desperately in love with her. By a strange anomaly, the beloved image never presents itself to the artist’s mind without being associated with a musical idea".

I wrote today's poem after reading through the story in the Symphonie Fantastique, but kind of combined Berlioz's double idée fixe with @matchtrick's 'tritone' suggestion.

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