Posts Tagged ‘flute’

“You are about to begin the adventure of the Unicorn”

Hildegard von Bingen

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I am the one who, walking in greenery,
seeks delightful flowers.

Jacopo da Bologna
(from the I Dilettosi Fiori music program of Corina Marti)

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When at night I await the beloved guest,
Life seems to hang by a thread.  “What is youth?” I demand
Of the room.  “What is honor, freedom, the rest, 
In the Presence of her who holds the flute in her hand?”

But now she is here.  Tossing aside her veil,
She considers me.  “Are you the one who came
To Dante, who dictated the pages of Hell
To him?” I ask her.  She replies, “I am.”

Anna Akhmatova (1924)
Trans. Lyn Coffin

Commentary:  Tomorrow, I’ll teach Dante’s Inferno for the 10th time. I will descend into hell again. In the role of Virgil, I will lead many pilgrims on the journey.

Every time I go down, I learn. Sometimes a lesson must be learned over and over again to be learned at all. There is a terrible sadness in that truth, and in that truth, a terrible gift.

I didn’t find the secret ring.
For days, I waited and guessed.
That tender captive, a song to sing,
Perished inside my breast.

Anna Akhmatova (1917)
Trans. Lyn Coffin

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