Three Worlds: Max Richter’s Haunting Music for Virginia Woolf

Chemistry in Capsules, Virginia


I would have met you at the water if I
were then without a daughter; I would have
held your hand–the bones to your words.
I would have decided on the hour–on
instinctual impulse–when the lower
haze of swaying moods sends me down.
I would have called you I bet,
and the moon would’ve been full and
I would’ve ran barefoot in my nightgown
to meet you at the water’s edge.
We would’ve known, I think, not to speak
about blue darkness and moon shafts shifting
across pale dandelions between our toes.
We would’ve sunk so deeply together,
smoothing the stones.

But chemistry comes in capsules now, Virginia,
and it allows you to linger at the surface, just
a breath away from air.
If you were here now would you tell me
my words are not pebbles,
to risk giving them meaning and shape
– to find no shame in their emptiness?
I’m alone, until I think of you–
my shared reflection in the water, you
with so much more grace, but I can
only build you up as a writer
and a fighter
and I  drop a stone to wrinkle you away,
and I see my face, blurry and rippled,
brilliant in the moon.


 

 

 

featured image Michael Kenna, Pinterest

Dear Virginia

I would have met you at the water if I
were then without a daughter; I would have
held your hand–my lost keeper.
I would have decided on the hour–on
instinctual impulse–when the lower
haze of swaying moods sends me down.
I would have called you I bet,
and the moon would’ve been full and
I would’ve ran barefoot in my nightgown
to meet you at the water’s edge.
We would’ve known, I think, not to speak
about blue darkness and moon shafts shifting
across pale dandelions between our toes. Read More

My Virginia

I would have met you at the water if I

were then without a daughter; I would have

held your hand–I’ve known you before.

I would have decided on the hour–on

instinctual impulse–when the lower

haze of swaying moods send me down.

I would have called you I bet,

and the moon would’ve been full and

I would’ve ran barefoot in my nightgown

to meet you at the edge.

We would’ve known, I think, not to speak

about blue darkness and moon shafts shifting

across pale dandelions between our toes.

But chemistry comes in capsules now, Virginia,

and I dare say it’s like breathing under water

in a beautiful menagerie of imagination

where thoughts come with a reign and scale–

for weight, not matter.

But sometimes, like those nights we’d dive,

I fear my words are pebbles,

I risk giving them meaning and shape

and find shame from their sudden emptiness,

I fear it’s left me

until I think of you–my shared reflection

in the water, you with so much more grace,

but I can only build you up as a writer

and a fighter

and I drop a little stone to wrinkle you away

and I see my face, blurry and rippled,

brilliant in the moon.