[Note: the first of these two poems also appears in The Deronda Review, vol. VII, no. 2, in the section dedicated to Yoram Raanan. We are pleased to share the sequence here in its entirety. --The Editors]
The Divine Symphony
dedicated to the artist Yoram Raanan
When clouds lay bare a moonlit sky
like fireflies born of the unbroken beam of celestial light
divine sparks cast up the heart
to repair the fragmented world.
The Ba'al Shem Tov, sent to temporal time
to elevate the mundane, to open the portal to dormant wonders,
infused with the radiant word of God
the dark and the inarticulate.
Then men were born whose passion
to script the human soul brought forth
music of the spheres, the stars
the moon and the grandeur of the earth.
Then a man will be born to redeem with his music
each stroke of the human spirit
the sorrows, joys and suffering
that echo the Divine Symphony.
THE DIVINE SYMPHONY; TO BEETHOVEN: Sea Journeys of Consciousness.
Like the prophets, you did not know
the cause of your music
the utterance of your emotions given voice and form,
thrust into our hearts and offering up
the beauty of your mind.
And when your listening ear betrayed you
affliction invoked a greater passion.
You could not know that as a schoolgirl
I would love you through a young student's
winsome whistling of the Eroica,
through the lilac laden Spring nights, I
a teenager, legs slung across an armchair
immersed in your Pastoral and Joseph Conrad's sea journeys.
Forced to share our fate before the gates of Auschwitz,
the exalted Ninth dragged down to the inferno,
- Jewish fiddlers in a death extravaganza,
did you shout out from the captive earth like Akiva,
"One more note and I will turn the world to ashes."
Now we can return your sounds to you
as we have been returned.
And I, after a lifetime of musical paths traversed
it is you, the mad, the dream-beset, who does endure,
who will accompany me into my old age.
[Note: the first of these two poems also appears in The Deronda Review, vol. VII, no. 2, in the section dedicated to Yoram Raanan. --The Editors]
© Copyright Shira Twersky-Cassel