Amanda DeBoer Bartlett, soprano, Andrew Andrzejak, Brendan Fitzgerald, Robert Fullex, Asaf Nisiim, percussion, the University of Buffalo Percussion Ensemble, April 18, 2009.
Gunnar Ekelöf 1907-1968
A MÖLNA ELEGY
A desolate wind from the city
and nearer, further
the bells’ burden, swinging fifths
—it’s burning! It’s burning!—
of the dead march:
We lived—just then!
We live now not at all,
we shall live—for the first time!
A flighty moment—
A\and now the devil is in the belfry
he who robbed us of our future,
robbed us of our past
The red fever-ball which makes me reel
rolls, tumbles over, rushes
Fever that slowly
makes a vault of me, rushing
rolls me, over me,
—la boule rouge qui bouge et roule—
time arrested, aroused…
And over again…
And over again…
And once again the banal development
in slow procession, slowly borne
with teardrenched trembling maidenhair
the sorrow of women, the whitest lilies:
Sob, sob, sob!
You black birds:
You were singing just then!
You are not singing now,
you shall sing—for the first time!
O saisons, ô châteaux!
O willows on the banks, O Babylon!
Happy he who taketh thy little ones
and dasheth them against the stones!
But you are not at all the avenger
At once one of the many
And one of the few:
Neither nominated nor nominator
Or common denominator:
Your formula is the stroke between
Seldom and never,
You have it written on your forehead:
The same one and still another
Your innocence is greatest in disgrace
—then it emerges, indestructible—
your voice is at its most clearly audible
while you are silent… The journey
you make as a passenger
not as a dispatcher
potent precisely in your impotence
certain in your uncertainty!
For neither as station-master nor as lineman
Do you have anything to do with
this, the parallel
train tracks’ infinity.
The wheels spin and spin,
fools stand and cheer and grin
at every station.
The train goes further
without arriving at milder zones.
The sun each moment nailed
time arrested and flailed
without circumference becoming center,
without black becoming white…
Puzzle, puzzle and puzzle
till you are puzzled double
by both the old and new,
both one and two.
Then all you waiting is past: something grey beside you at last,
it finally stands there—you!
Thuds dully, bumps, lies dumb.
Front gable clock
(face altered by stroke)
When the h, who the hu, how the hue,
where the huer?
Ragas and Raginis
Je suis le Roguefort…
Apple, papple, barries, charries
one and two, one and two:
out goes y-o-u…
Je suis le Brie etc.
(heraldic bird; silent, immobile,
with its beak up)
Be still my child, there is nothing
all is as you see: forest, smoke and the flight of the railroad tracks.
Somewhere far away in a distant land
there is a bluer sky, a wall with roses
or a palmtree and a warmer wild—
and that is all.