During a recent lecture Alfred Brendel said, “Only in contradiction does the world seem to become a little less absurd” and “the only crowd I’m not wary of is the public of concerts.” His right hand played the table top as he listened to a recorded excerpt of Mozart. Afterwards he sat in conversation with pianist Nino Gvetadze.
Alfred Brendel is celebrated the world over as one of the finest living pianists. He is also a poet. When asked by Richard Stokes to choose his favourite from among his own collected poems he read the one ending with “the most sophisticated way of speaking softly is silence.”
“Poet laureate Andrew Motion has a poem about Brendel in his latest collection (Public Property, Faber) and says that ‘in their black comedy and their surreality his poems very obviously belong in a tradition of middle-European poetry…You can read it alongside Holub, and what he brings to this tradition, and re-kindles, is the whole new subject area of music.‘” —Nicholas Wroe
“…It’s what he loved
most that still inhabits the house:
his wife, his son, his yellow bathtub
with its view over the year-round
green fields. If you stood outside in the vast
landscape you would see the light
glowing in all the rooms…”
From “Night after night she dreams” in Wavelengths of Your Song
Photos by Eleonore Schönmaier from her visits to photographer Ed van der Elsken’s home on a farm near Edam.
In 2017 Nina Siegal wrote in The New York Times “Even though his cameras were ever-present, van der Elsken’s work didn’t contain the least tinge of solipsism. It didn’t explore his personal identity — he was far more concerned with using his camera for documenting the social culture around him.”
Lust for Life is an exhibit profiling the colour work of photographer Ed van der Elsken and is on until 6 October 2019 in Rotterdam.
Timeline of Ed van der Elsken’s life.
“In an age in which we too often desire answers to be black and white, in which we flee from ambiguity and complexity, and in which we find it difficult to see beyond the immediate or to read beyond literal, poetry gives us permission to wonder, permission to find the extraordinary in the mundane, permission to look anew at that which we imagine cannot be seen differently, to wrestle with what may seem unsayable or unimaginable.”
“Pink” has been published in the Work Matters issue of Prairie Fire.
Cover Image by Jonathan Dyck
Additional poems were featured on March 21, World Poetry Day “it didn’t happen here” (winner of the National Broadsheet Contest), on December 17, Conversation (from Treading Fast Rivers) and on November 1, Migrations (from Wavelengths of Your Song) .
“it didn’t happen here” is the winner of the League of Canadian Poets National Broadsheet contest, and was selected by judge D.A. Lockhart for its “strong images, and captivating lyric voice.” Lockhart also states, “It’s nature speaks to the sort of experiential empathy that would do much to our world.” – D.A. Lockhart
You can read an interview with Eleonore Schönmaier here.
The above postcard image was created by Megan Fildes for the League of Canadian Poets.
“jobs that involve creativity, social interaction, and a human touch are hard to automate”
Eleonore Schönmaier’s books can be found in libraries globally including Poets House Library, New York, USA, Helsinki University in Finland, Bibliographie du Quebec, in Canada, Falvey Memorial Library at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, USA, and Biblioteca Madre Maria Teresa Guevara, Universidad del Sagrado Corazón in Puerto Rico among others.