Mozart Songbook

Joan Larkin on

Published in Poem Of The Day

Outside on Fremont Ave, black
snow and no such thing as a
white wig or a lovestruck violet
who sings his heart out. My lungs
ached, huge with breath and the harsh
sweetness of strange words. Veilchen,
Madchen-my brother spoke them
to show how my tongue was a gate
that could open secrets. He pressed
keys partway, to draw softest sounds
from the upright, and what he loved
I loved. That was my whole faith then.

About this poem
"I was nine when my teenage brother taught me Mozart's song about a violet who dies happy, crushed underfoot by a careless shepherdess. Since Donald's death, I've been struck more than ever by the ways his early gifts helped shape me, especially his love for music and language."
--Joan Larkin

About Joan Larkin
Joan Larkin's most recent book is "Blue Hanuman" (Hanging Loose Press, 2014). The 2012-2015 Conkling writer in residence at Smith College, she lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Academy of American Poets is a nonprofit, mission-driven organization, whose aim is to make poetry available to a wider audience. Email The Academy at poem-a-day[at]poets.org.

(c) 2015 Joan Larkin. Originally published by the Academy of American Poets, www.poets.org. Distributed by King Features Syndicate





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