Tag Archive: Aristophanes


NEPHELAI – Clouds

a poem suite in prose

  1. Weemoed

melancholy, dark furor: mir ist so wunderbar*,

I feel so strange now all of a sudden.

What is happening to my life?

I gaze into the miraculous sky.

I watch the clouds pass over me while they pass by.

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* Beethoven: Fidelio (libretto MARZELLINE:
Mir ist so wunderbar,
es engt das Herz mir ein;
er liebt mich, es ist klar,
ich werde glücklich, glücklich sein.

LEONORE
Wie groß ist die Gefahr!
wie schwach der Hoffnung Schein!
sie liebt mich, es ist klar,
o namenloser Pein!

ROCCO
Sie liebt ihn, es ist klar,
ja, Mädchen, er wird dein,
ein gutes, junges Paar,
sie werden glücklich sein.

JAQUINO
Mir sträubt sich schon das Haar,
der Vater willigt ein,
mir wird so wunderbar,
mir fällt kein Mittel ein.

(weemoed is Dutch for melancholy, cf New High German: Wehmut)

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  1. Orfeo

Another Orpheus me, I sing like Rinuccini :

“Ne mai sí dolci baci

da quella bocca havrai,

ne più soavi, ah taci,

taci, che troppo il sai.”**

No sweeter kisses ever

than those my lips have offered you

no softer ones will you

receive from him.

Be quiet now, oh, you know why.***

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** from Monteverdi: Lamento della ninfa

*** a free translation of the above

Bottlenecking

Engführung (bottlenecking, AE)

Wonder when Winston’s feet warmed up:
After half a day’s measure of sweet burn: mine do.
He was fatter though, but burnt up
more calories by professionally headaching
about mortal decisions. I think highly
of this killer, though not because of this questionable habit, but, as you of course already knew, his steady digestion of 2 bottles of brandy a day.

……………………………..

Getting intimate with girls scares me:
Bottlenecking our minds and bodies
arouses major panic attacks.

Intertwining, bodies knotting up.
I want to glow inside you.
Hold me, I’m a boy.

Unless you smile and don’t ask
I’ll always make you go
before the birds invoke the sun.

I leave your smell on my
crumpled linen to the cats.

It’s embarrassing but among
writers I love most Aristophanes.

I live in a harem of clouds where the clouds are girls,
and the thoughts twitter like juvenile birds keen
on adventures.

Or was it: ..where the clouds are thoughts,
and the girls twitter?

Or was it Wilde? Or me?

……..
As this poem is mostly in D major I thought I’d link you to
Korngold’s violin concerto. I myself, while writing, was listening to Hendrix’ famous Maui concert. But let this not distract you because I did a lot of other things you are also not interested in, while i wrote this.

Here is the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EsYUuGo8XA

(I know it’s not Brahms but I feel my poem would have been too modern for the master.)

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