Friday, January 18, 2013

So much we can have

Today's poem/music is an excerpt from Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No.13 in B flat minor - "Babi Yar" opus 113. Shostakovich's music was inspired by a poem by Yevgeny Yevtushenko. For information about the Babi Yar massacre, visit here or here. You can really feel the juxtaposition of youth and hope against violence in Shostakovich's music (see the video below).

...I imagine myself as Anne Frank,
Transparent as a sprig in April,
And I love, and have no need for phrases,
But I do need for us to gaze into each other.
How little one can see, or smell!
Leaves - we cannot have,
Sky - we cannot have,
But there is so much we can have -
To embrace tenderly in a darkened room.

"They're coming!"

"Don't be afraid, those are the booming sounds
Of Spring itself. It's coming here.
Come to me,
Quickly, give me your lips!"

"They're breaking the door!"

"No, it's the ice breaking..."


Violet is our Poetry Friday round-up host today.


Irene Latham said...

Tabatha, I love this reminder that even in the midst of all we DON'T have, there is always something to embrace -- if only we will pay attention to it. Thank you. xo

Katya said...

Powerful. Thank you for sharing that.

jama said...

Thanks again for expanding our cultural horizons!!

Joyce Ray said...

Tabatha, I listened to the music and performance of the poem excerpt you posted. It's wonderful. Such courage in the face of terror. Thank you for sharing this ekphrastic music. A few weeks ago I heard "Pictures at an Exhibition," the musician's response to art, performed. Now you point me to Shostakovich's music in response to poetry. I'm trying to write an ekphrastic poem now, and it helps to hear samples from another discipline.

Bridget Magee said...

Amazing, Tabatha! Thanks so much for sharing both music and poetry with us today. =)

Author Amok said...

Hi, Tabatha. My son and I heard the BSO perform one of Shostakovich's symphonies last spring. The performance included photos and film clips from the Russian Revolution. It was powerful beyond words. Thank you for this post and the poem.

Fats Suela from Gathering Books said...

I read the poem first, then listened to the music. Sent chills down my spine. When I read the verses again, the lines were not the same as before. Powerful and evocative lines. Thank you for sharing this, Tabatha! =)

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

That was powerful, Tabatha. Thank you for sharing all the threads to this poem, too.

Violet N. said...

Wow - thanks for introducing me to another cultural treasure!

Linda B said...

I will share with my brother, who is a musician, & will truly understand how one can set a poem to music like this. It is beautiful, Tabatha. We have a Babi Yar park in our area, with a boxcar & I have taken my students there to experience the feelings and give respect to those who lost their lives there. Thank you for all the links too, something important to know.

Ruth said...

"There is so much we can have." How true.

Robyn Hood Black said...

Chilling and powerful, Tabatha - thank you for sharing.