On First Hearing Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto in G min


Fear and longing hold each other by the waist
More often than we know. The one
Arching into arabesques of silent pain
The other frozen between places, stunned
By falling beauty.
Like tears of rage
That descend in hurtful rain
On the dark green trees of home.
Rage and yearning follow each other through lanes
More narrow than feet can know. The two
At war like nomadic travelers, bound
To their lands, torn by their trails. Who
Is the warrior, who lost, what is found
When a hard won serenity wanes
With every fall of the sun, every sound
Of still water cracking under the strain.


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