Monday, May 7, 2012

You Know What I Was, You See What I Am: Change Me

Brahms was born 179 years ago today.  I've asked Hamster to dj today but haven't yet got his playlist, I'll post it when it appears (UPDATE! got it! thanks! it'll be a stand-alone later this afternoon), but here, have a piano sonata. Also too, the general election is six months - that's half a year - from tomorrow, the longest fucking six months of your life since the last until the next. Also too, first call for Blog Days of Summer! I mean, I know this blog sucks, but hasn't started sucking as precipitously as the drop in action here and around Blegsylvania the past week. With the Blog Days of Summer comes bleggalgazing, spared you only so far as this post's sentences - yes, that's a threat - but, as I wrote elsewhere, why write elsewhere what I don't write here or won't write here?


Randall Jarrell

The saris go by me from the embassies.

Cloth from the moon. Cloth from another planet.
They look back at the leopard like the leopard.

And I. . . .
this print of mine, that has kept its color
Alive through so many cleanings; this dull null
Navy I wear to work, and wear from work, and so
To my bed, so to my grave, with no
Complaints, no comment: neither from my chief,
The Deputy Chief Assistant, nor his chief--
Only I complain. . . . this serviceable
Body that no sunlight dyes, no hand suffuses
But, dome-shadowed, withering among columns,
Wavy beneath fountains--small, far-off, shining
In the eyes of animals, these beings trapped
As I am trapped but not, themselves, the trap,
Aging, but without knowledge of their age,
Kept safe here, knowing not of death, for death--
Oh, bars of my own body, open, open!

The world goes by my cage and never sees me.
And there come not to me, as come to these,
The wild beasts, sparrows pecking the llamas' grain,
Pigeons settling on the bears' bread, buzzards
Tearing the meat the flies have clouded. . . .
When you come for the white rat that the foxes left,
Take off the red helmet of your head, the black
Wings that have shadowed me, and step to me as man:
The wild brother at whose feet the white wolves fawn,
To whose hand of power the great lioness
Stalks, purring. . . .
You know what I was,
You see what I am: change me, change me!


  1. Trying to convince people to spend the first Tuesday in November doing something else other than standing in line* is nigh impossible, so trying to convince in something actually important is beyond the beyond, captain.

    That said, Daniele Gatti's take on Pyotr's 4th, 5th, and 6th are quite swanky.

    *at least at the DMV they give you a new license.

  2. Loved the Jarrell. I've hitchhiked along the very road where he was struck and killed in Chapel Hill.

    Never much a fan of Brahms or Tchaikovsky. Had a music history teacher who felt that with the possible exception of Mozart and late Beethoven there really was not much worth mentioning b/w Bach and Stravinsky. Heard of another who taught it that way: the interval b/w B & Str was Semester 2.

    Am I going insane or did you just change the background from green to Noxema blue in the time it took me to catch up and scroll through your previous several posts (go the VW Uniteds!)?