Monday, April 16, 2018

Rizwan Saleem writes


Covered, closed and sealed

Fist after fist of moist sand

Laid to rest

The walk back now for the living

A drive to return to an empty abode

Wouldn't it be so much better to also bury the memories behind

Carry on now i must, and still be near the places where we used to dwell

Incomplete, left to repeat a single wish 

If only you had taken me with you 

My eyes stray on the barren shelves

Where you kept your clothes

Residues of your perfume still linger in the air

The very scents that stirred my lusts for so long

Now make it so hard to breath

i must wake still, every morning and pretend to be alive

Though i know i went in that grave much before you

What remains now is a quest

To seek answers for infinite questions that are left for me

All of them beginning with "why" 

The finality of it all, this surcease

Becomes too much to bear

My heart beats on my chest like a hammer on a condemned wall

And when i can take no more, i fall to my knees and cry

Sob tears that rise from an abyss 

Very deep inside

For the love lost to me 

The warm embraces now cold as artic snow

The kisses owed but never collected

The words that i felt but left unsaid

Maybe you're in a better place now 

Better than this living, breathing hell 

That caves in around me 

Maybe you're happy now

Or maybe, simply, this is what i deserved all along

So now that you're with others i see

Everyone else but me

I'm taken back in that cemetery

To a cold dark corner, tranquil in perpetual shadow

Far away and sequestered 

On a little piece of hallowed ground

Where broken hearts are buried


 The Burial of Gustave Mahler -- Arnold Schönberg

1 comment:

  1. Gustav Mahler was one of the leaders of the transformation of Romantic music into Modern music. His achievement was not as conclusive or original as that of his successor, Arnold Schoenberg, but without Mahler, Schoenberg would have been impossible. He attached himself almost exclusively to symphonic writing instead of the operas and tone poems of the other Romantics, incorporating their technical advances without violating the symphonic concept. He was the 1st to subject Richard Wagner’s harmonic effusion to symphonic ends in an organic fashion. Wagner had driven tonality to its limits, Mahler delimited tonality artificially in order to preserve the conventional formal figures of the symphonic structure; his protégé Schoenberg later broke from it altogether. At 1st Schoenberg initially despised and mocked Mahler's music but was converted by the "thunderbolt" of Mahler's Third Symphony, which he considered a work of genius. Afterward he "spoke of Mahler as a saint." For his part, Mahler continued to support Schoenberg even as his style reached a point Mahler could no longer understand. From 1908 onwards Schoenberg began experimenting with music without traditional keys or tonal centers. Mahler was well aware of the tradition of composers who died after writing their 9th symphonies before completing a 10th and so called his 9th symphony ”Das Lied von der Erde” (The Song of the Earth) in an attempt to circumvent fate. Thinking he had avoided the curse, he numbered his next symphony his “ninth’ but died in 1911 before completing what was actually his 10th. Schoenberg commented, "It seems that the Ninth is a limit. He who wants to go beyond it must pass away. It seems as if something might be imparted to us in the Tenth which we ought not yet to know, for which we are not ready. Those who have written a Ninth stood too close to the hereafter." In 1918 he founded the Society for Private Musical Performances to perform contemporary music from “Mahler to the present.” It was for one of these gatherings that he began working on a chamber version of “Das Lied von der Erde” in 1920. As a triskaidekaphobe, Schoenberg also had a number superstition, gong so far as deliberately misspelling his opera “Moses un Aron” since the correct spelling would have had 13 letters. Friday 13 July 1951 was an ominous date for him, since the digits in his age (76) also added up to 13. He staid in bed all day, but his wife reported that she looked in on him 15 minutes before midnight “and said to myself: another quarter of an hour and then the worst is over. Then the doctor called me. Arnold’s throat rattled twice, his heart gave a powerful beat and that was the end.”


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