The Sunday Poem: Elaine Schwartz... El Flautista

Some of the most memorable poems in the English language have been written about paintings.  A painting by Remedios Varo is the subject of Elaine Schwartz's poem by the same name, El Flautista.  Varo, whose paintings are instantly recognizable and have inspired even a work by pop singer Madonna, has her own incredible story.  Elaine Schwartz shows a lot of fine brushwork in this dreamy piece.


The Flautist

(After El Flautista, Remedios Varo, 1955)



Eyes closed   


mask studded with ocean pearls     


the flautist leans against gray granite


her music     soft as sighs


raucous     as humanity’s lies     worries


the world’s unsettled breath



as shards rain upon the earth   


scatter at her feet     fragments filled


with skeletal fish splinter     trilobites tumble


upon thirsty soil     and faceless shards


mark sedimentary time   



and the flautist plays   


and hubris flows into the dark


oily miasma of our own making



--Elaine Schwartz



Poetry submissions are encouraged.  Email

Views: 454

Comment by Peggy Dobreer on April 17, 2011 at 8:28am


Very mysterious and memorable piece. So glad to have met you. I hope you'll be sending some writing from the workshop. The pieces gathering so far are strong. All the very best. Peggy


Comment by Margaret Randall on April 17, 2011 at 8:51am
This is a beautiful poem, Elaine. Remedios Varo was such a mysterious and inspiring figure, especially at a time when women artists literally had to risk being judged mentally ill to be able to do their work. In this poem I can also hear the notes of Daniel's flute... it feels as if you come to your subject from many rich angles.
Comment by Barelas Babe on April 17, 2011 at 2:19pm
There is music and meditation in this marvelous poem - I love the earthy references of trilobites tumbling, shards raining, and sedimentary time. Thank you for introducing me to Remedios Varo.
Comment by Dee Cohen on April 18, 2011 at 9:11am
What a lovely poem Elaine. You've captured the essence of the musician and the anxiety of the times. Good to see your work here. Best, Dee
Comment by Stewart Warren on April 18, 2011 at 4:19pm

" ...humanity’s lies .../ the world’s unsettled breath."  Truth in music.


I, too, appreciate being introduced to Varo.

Comment by Merimee Moffitt on April 27, 2011 at 11:47am
lovely, mysterious, human--love the admission of hubris.
Comment by Merimee Moffitt on April 27, 2011 at 11:48am
yes, an what an amazing painting--xcellent, thx again and for all


You need to be a member of Duke City Fix to add comments!

Join Duke City Fix

Connect with Us!

Community Forum

Transit. Why or why not? 28 Replies

Started by Granjero in General Discussion. Last reply by Mark Mar 24.

Downtown Albuquerque 4 Replies

Started by Rita in Food & Drink. Last reply by Sophie Mar 14.

Burton Well Number 5 1 Reply

Started by russell bell in General Discussion. Last reply by russell bell Mar 3.

Prince Bobby-Jack! 25 Replies

Started by JMG in General Discussion. Last reply by Barelas Babe Feb 20.

Bookworks Author Event with Richard Smith

Started by Richard Smith in Announcements Feb 14.

Latest Activity

Kitson Harvey liked Scot Key's blog post Albuquerque Teacher Federation's Bernie/Hillary Moment: Election '16
18 minutes ago
Kitson Harvey commented on Sophie's blog post In case you were wondering, "What do people who love pizza think of Wise Guys?"
21 minutes ago
Profile IconDuke City Fix via Facebook

Don't just mope, get your plans in place to vote, volunteer, or run!

5things: Getting Yer Vote On

Whew! What a weird couple…

See More
Facebook1 hour ago · Reply
City of ABQ Special Events's event was featured

Heights Summerfest at North Domingo Baca Park

June 11, 2016 from 5pm to 10:30pm
2 hours ago

Regular Features

Anyone can blog on the Duke City Fix, but here are the folks who blog most often:

© 2016   Created by Duke City Fix.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service