October in Galicia, part 2

Continuing yesterday’s post on Ewald Murrer’s poetry set in October in Galicia, a song cycle for soprano and string quartet that I will perform on the Imaginary Timescapes concert… Here are the final two poems of the cycle. I’m interested to hear what you think of them as poetry, before you hear the music these poems inspired.

October 4th

The voices of dogs
beyond the mountains. 

Early morning, a dream chased me from bed. A difficult dream. The white body of a unicorn flying above me. I could not breathe, I was sweating.

The unicorn’s horn pierced the sky. Stars poured swiftly to the ground like fruit blossoms.

The Fuks’ awoke around five in the morning. I do not exactly know the time, there is no clock in the house.

We rode donkeys in the cool dew.

We came to a stop in mysterious, fragrant marshes. Fuks slouched with his finger at his lips. Abigail whispered something into her hands.

In those places, it was as if there were no sunrise. Quite the opposite, the darkness thickened.

Silently, we waited.

And finally, from the distance, a unicorn was approaching.

Abigail closed her eyes and, for some time, did not open them. Fuks tinkered with something by the donkey. I stared mutely at the magnificent animal, that dream come to life.

Then it happened. Abigail cried out. My unicorn ran off. We returned empty-handed. Surreptitiously, they looked at me. Perhaps I was the cause of the failure.

Then silently, it drizzled. The landscape went damp.

October 23rd

Are you not the moon,
you have such a white face.
I saw you behind the hill
and you fled.

I read through bulky old books with the rabbi. The rabbi blew the dust off their spines.

Unicorns reveal themselves in dreams. In the rabbi’s books, we discovered the ancient homeland of these animals.

Organ music from the heavens.

— Ewald Murrer, translated by Alicie Pist’ková

(Originally posted Dec 2nd, 2012 at 10:42 AM EST)


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