The Flagstad Recording
Control has been candied and exchanged So many times it feels like the night Of the day, a troubled ride through A beginning whose motor announces It's still the mild guardian Of a human bird we don't yet hear. She needs no protection nor exists Except as a set of performances, Notes mistaken for an identity In sequence, much as we take quiet Sounds to be an index of their distance From the only place that matters. This is not description but paraphrase The voice does as contradictions, New but old, certainly uncertain About the decision to wear white Though it's long after Labor Day. In fact it's that other day in September Never fully over inside the strings, And this isn't time, more like the world Premiere of an anticipation Of an accompaniment that isn't Paraphrase so much as the last Chance at exhausted debut.
Copyright © 2012 by Geoffrey G. O'Brien. Used with permission of the author.
Geoffrey G. O'Brien
Geoffrey G. O'Brien is the author of Experience in Groups (Wave Books, 2018), People on Sunday (Wave Books, 2013), Metropole (University of California Press, 2011), Green and Gray (University of California Press, 2007), and The Guns and Flags Project (University of California Press, 2002). He teaches English at the University of California, Berkeley and San Quentin State Prison and lives in Berkeley, California.
Date Published: 2012-09-07
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/flagstad-recording