“For Wittgenstein”

Found this recording of David Rakowski's setting of my poem "For Wittgenstein" on You Tube. I received a copy of the CD when it came out, but I'm happy to see it out on the web. It would be nice if whoever posted it had given credit to the author of the text: "For Wittgenstein" is the final poem in my book Magical Thinking (2001), an over-determined triolet written specifically for Rakowski.

Days are like grass the wind moves over: first the wind & then the silence-- what cannot be said we must pass over in silence, or play some music over in our heads. Silently, a wind goes over (we know from the motion of the grass). Days are like grass; the wind goes over: first the wind & then the silence.

There are a lot of performances of Rakowski's music--mostly for piano--on You Tube. I loved his etude "Fists of Fury," especially the middle section played at the high end of the piano that sounds like the first message arriving from an alien civilization.

Author: jd

Joseph Duemer is Professor of Literature Emeritus at Clarkson University in northern New York state. His most recent book of poems is Magical Thinking from Ohio State University Press. Since the mid-1990s he has spent a good deal of time in Vietnam, mostly Hanoi. He lives with his wife Carole & five terriers (four Jack Russells & one Patterdale) on the stony bank of the Raquette River in South Colton.

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