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 theditchrider@gmail.com.

Views: 468

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

Elaine,

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

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