Thursday, March 17, 2016

What junger Mann leaves Law,
in violation of his inheritance’s terms,
to indulge in Music? What mortal flaw

pushes a 19th C. Saxon that way,
from order to billowing desire,
or say, what ethereal fire

found young Robert that day
in Frankfurt when he first
heard Niccolò Paganini play?

“Butterflies,” he would later say.
“And the memory of butterflies
carried me away to piano, to Clara.”

“The ocean,” Clara would correct.
“The ocean and poetry turned
Robert’s neck toward the impossible.”

“And he ended up in hospital.”

• • •


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