Monday, February 19, 2018

....as if blessing nuptial vows...

Sorry, it took me a long time to figure out how to sign in again and be able to put up posts...
I wanted to share with you the links to videos of our October performance of The Death Of Simone Weil.
I'm so pleased with this music: perhaps we will record it again someday (perhaps not, too, alas)...
I'm also just about to send out a manuscript of a book of Paula's poetry...Paula as so good at so many things, but: she was SUCH a brilliant poet...and the blog was never much about her poetry. Of course, she was such a brilliant writer of....her somehow beyond essays...Anyway, wish me luck with that...the world deserves to be able to read her.
You cannot imagine how much I miss her. You people know her as the spiritual, cerebral writer she was here, and indeed, she was that gentle, insightful, articulate soul...but you might have not really known the down to earth person she was at home (hard to explain this, here, in fact,  she always did  paint an accurate picture of herself), the one that would amuse me by drawing devil horns and pitchforks on newspaper photos of George Bush and Dick Cheny and who had a great time with me, sending out for chinese food and watching TV....







Gone Now

Renault

November 1938

Saint Julien

X-Ray Dreams

Almost Paradise
November, 1938, the third movement of The Death Of Simone Weil. This beautiful poem is what inspired me to write the whole (six movement, 65 minute) piece...it's about a transcendent experience Simone Weil had, and longing for it to happen again...refers to several famous poems. This poem turned me into a composer whose focus is on words as that’s what I’ve been doing ever since I read that around 20 years ago. Paula was (so deservedly so) pleased with herself when she wrote this…and I read this part, standing, in our bedroom, leaning over the top of a dresser, and it sent chills down my spine. I was, and always will be, so proud of her. Honored to have known her. Profoundly lucky to have found my soul mate, who amazingly, loved me as much as I loved her. We always claimed we were the cutest couple in the world, and we were right.
                  Darrell Katz




III. NOVEMBER 1938 

He whose soul remains ever turned toward God though the nail pierces it finds himself nailed to the very center of the universe.
                                                                                -- S. Weil

Mal de tete, the ignominious
quotidian of my incarnation!
It drills my forehead like a nail --

like a lidless
third eye transfixed
by its desire.

If only I could flinch from it! 
This pain impales me
like an unwilling bride

to my sickbed here
guiltie of dust and sin
and wretched unwillingness.

If only I could enter
the sanctuary of the poem,
naked as a spirit, 

my miserable flesh
shed in a heap on the porch -- 
like at Easter in Solesmes,

when the plain song
plucked me aloft 
from my suffering

and I hovered like a feather
on the breath of God,
or dust in his splendour,

far above the malheur, degout et
paresse of my unworthy life:
Love bade me welcome, Love

bade me welcome, and the doctor 
brought a horrid nux vomica,
for migraine:

like a curate of the flesh,  
in his macaronic latin,
he says Mass over me. 

 Love bade me welcome, yes,
me, with my cyclops eye as raw
as the kiss God planted 

on the brow of Cain. O quick-eyed Love,
sweet sorcerer, take my unwillingness
and refine it with your flame until

what remains is the quicksilver 
of consent, and the gold of welcome, Love, 
like the smile on a beloved face,

that whispers, 
as if blessing nuptial vows,

When the plainchants
Plucked me aloft
from my suffering  

and I hovered like a feather
on the breath of God,  
or dust in his splendour,

far above the malheur, degout et
paresse of my unworthy life:
Love bade me welcome,
Love bade me welcome,
Love like a smile on a beloved face,  
That whispers,
who made the eyes but I?

The day we were married...

4 comments:

Peter said...

Darrell, I'm so happy that you're pursuing having some of Paula's poetry published.

"Love / like the smile on a beloved face"

I'd love a copy, of course . . .

Darrell Katz said...

I'm very ignorant of the process of publishing. I have lucked into one place that will give it serious consideration when I send it to them (hopefully this week) but if they're not interested, I don't know what the next step should be.

Sabine said...

What a wonderful memory, thank you for bringing me back to Paula - and for the music.

Lucy said...

Bless you, Darrell.