Sunday, September 13, 2009

812. Ode To Arnold Schoenberg - Charles Tomlinson

Ode To Arnold Schoenberg On a Performance of His Concerto for Violin

At its margin
the river's double willow
that the wind
disrupts, effaces
and then restores
in shivering planes:
it is
calm morning.
The twelve notes
(from the single root
the double tree)
and their reflection:
let there be
however the winds rout
or the wave disperses
remains, as
in the liberation of the dissonance
beauty would seem discredited
and yet is not:
it may be reachieved,
thus to proceed
through discontinuities
to the whole in which
discontinuities are held
like the foam in chalcedony
the stone, enriched
by the tones' impurity.
The swayed mirror
and the reflection
yields to reflected light.
Day. The bell-clang
goes down the air
and, like a glance
grasping upon its single thread
a disparate scene,
crosses and recreates
the audible morning.
All meet at cockcrow
when our common sounds
confirm our common bonds.
Meshed in meaning
by what is natural
we are discontented
for what is more,
until the thread
of an instrument pursue
a more than common meaning.
But to redeem
both the idiom and the instrument
was reserved
to this exiled Jew––to bring
by fiat
certainty from possibility.
For what is sound
made reintelligible
but the unfolding word
branched and budded,
the wintered tree
creating, cradling space
and then
filling it with verdure?