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Tag Archives Mahler

GRANDE HÔTEL DES BAINS

‘A camera on a tripod stood at the edge of the water, apparently abandoned; its black cloth snapped in the freshening wind.’

DEATH IN VENICE Thomas Mann

 

…Cholera is no longer a rumour.

Besotted, face rouged, hair dyed, he dies

staring unseeing at the shallow sea.

Artifice, made and re-made, fades in the rain,

like the islands with their ‘gorgeous palaces’…

 

Near the Palazzo del Cinema –

where, annually, insubstantial

figures, louder than life,

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AUTUMN

The rising wald is auburn, the lake

so still swans seem painted and the hotel’s lawns

that last, lush green before October dies.

Breakfast is muted. Beyond service doors,

a wireless is switched on. Each swing utters

a broken voice. “Oh Mensch! Gieb Acht!…sorrow

is deep…but joy more profound than the heart’s

agony…” And most of the guests look up

towards sun on the woodlands, the war

and smile. But some, as yet only a few,

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