“Open Air Concert, Ohio,” from Poems, 1947-1961, by Elizabeth Sewell


Open Air Concert, Ohio

We sit by stone and ivy leaves
For flute and oboe’s disquisition;
The evening, after heat, receives
This gentle Middle West rendition.

The foursquare walls of courtyard cup
Two funnels at their intersection,
The music running down and up
On lukewarm currents of convection,

So that the twin parabola
Of clarinettists’ conversation
May tunnel for mandragora
Or plummet to a constellation.

The body may be earthed or skied,
But mind, extrinsic to seduction,
Spreads out into a thin glass slide,
Incising music’s cones of suction.

Leave those twinkling points to pair
With ground bass in a Bach Invention
Cry me not up to meet them there —
I balance on my disc of air —
In a glass darkly I shall stare
At inklings of a fourth dimension.

from Poems, 1947-1961, by Elizabeth Sewell
Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1962

Available on the Internet Archive Link.

This is one in a series of neglected poems from the Internet Archive.

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