Shamelessly borrowing this from Popova, for this fine poem must be available here, to read, when those searching moments hit.

Lisel Mueller’s poem ‘Romantics’ dedicated to Brahms and Schumann –


Johannes Brahms and

      Clara Schumann

The modern biographers worry

“how far it went,” their tender friendship.

They wonder just what it means

when he writes he thinks of her constantly,

his guardian angel, beloved friend.

The modern biographers ask

the rude, irrelevant question

of our age, as if the event

of two bodies meshing together

establishes the degree of love,

forgetting how softly Eros walked

in the nineteenth-century, how a hand

held overlong or a gaze anchored

in someone’s eyes could unseat a heart,

and nuances of address not known

in our egalitarian language

could make the redolent air

tremble and shimmer with the heat

of possibility. Each time I hear

the Intermezzi, sad

and lavish in their tenderness,

I imagine the two of them

sitting in a garden

among late-blooming roses

and dark cascades of leaves,

letting the landscape speak for them,

leaving us nothing to overhear.

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