Today I was challenged to “write a poem inspired by [my] favorite [sic] kind of music.” I’ve always loved the beautifully evocative adagietto from Mahler’s fifth symphony: it was used in Visconti’s 1971 film version of Thomas Mann’s novella, ‘Death in Venice’ – a film which is oddly relevant for today since part of the storyline involves the city of Venice being gripped by a cholera epidemic. The quotation within my very short poem references Maureen Lipman’s character in ‘Educating Rita’ .
Adagietto (Mahler’s 5th symphony)
Soft, sonorous sounds
slowly flow from violins and
wrap themselves around
my dreaming soul.
“Wouldn’t you just die without Mahler!” But Aschenbach,
his body already ravaged by disease,
died in the film with a Mahler soundtrack.