From "Remembrance"

By Gregor, Arthur | The Hudson Review, Winter 2007 | Go to article overview

From "Remembrance"


Gregor, Arthur, The Hudson Review


On ferme les yeux pour se retrouver.

J. S. Bach, French Suite #5 "Saraband"

Pulls you in, takes you back to

the child in you that despite those many years, those

severe, painful departures has never left you,

those chords you now hear

tell you of that. Innocent

you were, open and loving

to the things around you, all first, all new,

to the light you pointed to

hoisted up to it on your father's

shoulders, open and loving you were to

your mother's eyes,

often clouded, often troubled,

bending over you, your joy,

your joys at discoveries,

perhaps recoveries, for the love you had,

and were, was never born, the music says so

now. How could it have been?

What never not was

is with you now,

is with you still.

Such memories that lie in

the water's stillness

you have sat in front of

and often do, just yesterday

looking out across to

where the small terns stand in

the shallow water

their whiteness dabs of white paint

on the river's darkness,

beyond them

the long-legged heron's silhouette

against the trees' deep greenness,

the music in that stillness

watery stillness

flowing flowing

and the child in you

harmonies, such harmonies . . .

Mozart, Marriage of Figaro, Act III Duet, The Countess and Suzanna

The volume up

the men out for exercise in a prison yard

transfixed, inward turned like thoughtful

muscular statues in stillness extending themselves

to something they had once known,

forgotten, cannot name, could never name,

something tugging at the heart

the memory of something marvelous

extraordinary even in their sad

distorted lives. A murmur that

brings each to where each once

had been, a song, a duet, an aria uniting them.

And I in the night crossing the Adantic

hearing it on the plane's music track

remembering the film am moved

stirred to tears they may or may not have shed

join them in the heart's

jubilant recognition and in

the infinite sadness of their plight

joy and sadness, Emily's

"joy to have merited the pain"

and no plane could lift me to

the height of such tunes such harmony

the one reference

each had been brought back to

as I was then

to the one memory

uniting us

touching us as nothing does.

J. S. Bach, "Aria" Goldberg Variations

Straight to the heart and memory it holds,

the child's remembrance that cannot be remembered,

behind all memory worthy of remembrance

stands one memory memory cannot remember

but having been lifted back to it

you walked away in silence

where the child in you had brought you,

the child in you whom the years could not

but have forced astray until intercession

by one in whom return had vibrated

brought you back,

home's essence not remembered but relived

where he, beyond time,

he the nameless, the formless

descended,

lay on his blue silks-covered couch

and the child in you that was never born

flat on the ground before him

lifted up in his embrace returned

to what was never lost

and beyond remembrance lives

and later at the airport wept and later hearing

music that brought back that this

had happened, wept. …

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