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Tag Archives amphitheatre

OF JOY

At once a voice arose among

      The bleak twigs overhead

In a full-hearted evensong

      Of joy illimited…

The Darkling Thrush, Thomas Hardy

 

I was standing at our front gate at twilight

with the people I love the most – wife,

daughter, granddaughter, each of them by turns

gossiping and bantering the way

some families do – beneath low, stormy clouds

still blush tinged from the westering sun

when we heard goose cries as if from all

compass points,

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ADRIFT

Where part of the back wall of the scena

of the Greco-Roman amphitheatre

has collapsed, we can see the sun setting

on Etna, its smoke drifting like a veil

over the sea. The town’s orchestra –

of mandolins, lutes, guitars, double bass –

with its plangent, sentimental, heart-

rending timbre plays the prelude to act one

of Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata’…

 

We saw the opera at the Bolshoi –

with its gilt chairs and the Romanov box

with the hammer and the sickle above –

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