sovay: (Lord Peter Wimsey: passion)
sovay ([personal profile] sovay) wrote2016-10-15 02:33 am

All I need to do now is wreck the left hand and then 100% of my extremities will be out of order

My poem "At the Meyerhold Theatre" is now online at Through the Gate. This is the ghost poem I wrote in February after discovering what is now my favorite picture of Dmitri Shostakovich:

I would not have said until then that he was the sort of historical figure for whom I wrote ghost poems, although I owned a book of his published letters, loved two of his operas and one of his film scores, and his Suite for Variety Orchestra (formerly misidentified as the Suite for Jazz Orchestra No. 2, under which name I have the recording I am currently listening to) supplied the soundtrack for a significant period of my life in college; I was looking for a photo of Mayakovsky at the time. But about a week after the poem, I discovered Julian Barnes' The Noise of Time (2016), and shortly after that my mother spontaneously presented me with a copy of M.T. Anderson's Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad (2015) which she had been holding on to for the right occasion, so I think this was just a case of nonlinear inspiration. The flexatone made a huge impression on me when I saw the New England premiere of The Nose at the Boston Lyric Opera in 2009. So did the actor who played the young composer himself, gravely surveying the chaos from a safe distance of metafiction. He could be recognized by his horn-rims and his stoneface, a score stamped нос under his arm just in case. I don't know that he got into this poem more than the real Shostakovich, but I suspect he's in there somewhere. I hope both of them would appreciate it.
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)

[personal profile] davidgillon 2016-10-15 12:50 pm (UTC)(link)
I was surprised to see the first part of At the Meyerhold Theatre go in exactly the direction the picture evoked for me. There is something very Harold Lloyd in the way Shostakovich presents himself in that image.

[identity profile] 2016-10-15 06:45 am (UTC)(link)
a man with such a deadpan
can meet sprung clocks and head-on trains
with the composure of the indestructible

I could do with a touch of that.


[identity profile] 2016-10-15 06:38 pm (UTC)(link)
Just avoid colliding with Mussolini's train. It's reasonably easy if you have a timepiece. *ducks*

Congratulations on the poem!
gwynnega: (lordpeter mswyrr)

[personal profile] gwynnega 2016-10-16 08:41 pm (UTC)(link)
It still amazes me that that's what Shostakovich looked like.

It's a lovely poem.