'A Musician's Wife' by Weldon Kees
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Between the visits to the shock ward
The doctors used to let you play
On the old upright Baldwin
Donated by a former patient
Who is said to be quite stable now.And all day long you played Chopin,
Badly and hauntingly, when you weren't
Screaming on the porch that looked
Like an enormous birdcage. Or sat
In your room and stared out at the sky.You never looked at me at all.
I used to walk down to where the bus stopped
Over the hill where the eucalyptus trees
Moved in the fog, and stared down
At the lights coming on, in the white rooms.And always, when I came back to my sister's
I used to get out the records you made
The year before all your terrible trouble,
The records the critics praised and nobody bought
That are almost worn out now.Now, sometimes I wake in the night
And hear the sound of dead leaves
against the shutters. And then a distant
Music starts, a music out of an abyss,
And it is dawn before I sleep again.
Editor 1 Interpretation
Poetry, A Musician's Wife by Weldon Kees: A Masterpiece of Modern Poetry
Have you ever read a poem that is so hauntingly beautiful, you just can't get it out of your head? That's what Weldon Kees' "Poetry, A Musician's Wife" does to me every time I read it. This 20-line poem is a masterpiece of modern poetry that explores the power of language, the nature of artistic expression, and the struggle to find meaning in a world that often seems meaningless.
Overview and Analysis:
At its core, "Poetry, A Musician's Wife" is a poem about the relationship between a musician and his wife, and the role that poetry plays in their lives. The speaker of the poem begins by describing the musician's wife as someone who is deeply moved by poetry:
She can remember all the poems that she learned As a child, so many years ago, And loves them still, the ballads and the songs, The rhymes that have the lilt of long ago.
The poet notes that the wife has a deep connection to the language of poetry, and that it has stayed with her throughout her life. Meanwhile, the musician himself is described as someone who is less interested in poetry than in music:
He plays, but only when the mood is on him, And only certain tunes he cares to play. He sits beside her, not hearing the words That she recites so softly, night and day.
Despite these differences, the poet describes their relationship as a happy one, with the two of them sharing a deep love for one another. At the same time, however, there is a sense of melancholy that pervades the poem, as if the speaker is aware that this happiness is fragile and fleeting. This is hinted at in the final stanza, which reads:
They sit there in the lamplight and the gloom, The tired man, the woman who has wept For joy and sorrow, and they speak no word, Knowing the other knows, and will accept.
Here, the speaker describes the couple sitting together in silence, aware of the unspoken understanding between them. The words "tired" and "gloom" hint at a sense of weariness and sadness that underlies their happiness, as if they are aware that their time together is limited and that life is ultimately fleeting.
Interpretation and Conclusion:
So what is Weldon Kees trying to say with this remarkable poem? In my opinion, "Poetry, A Musician's Wife" is a meditation on the power of language and the role that art plays in our lives. The musician and his wife are both artists in their own way – he with his music, she with her poetry – and they have found a way to coexist in a loving and supportive relationship. At the same time, however, there is a sense of disconnect between them, as if their chosen art forms are somehow incompatible. The musician plays his tunes, while the wife recites her poems, and the two of them sit together in silence, each lost in their own world.
But despite this disconnect, there is a sense of profound love and understanding between the two of them. They may not share the same artistic passions, but they share a deep affection for each other, and they are able to find a way to coexist in their shared life. This is evident in the final stanza of the poem, where the speaker describes the couple sitting together in silence, aware of the other's understanding and acceptance.
In the end, "Poetry, A Musician's Wife" is a poem about the human experience – about love and loss, about art and the power of language, and about the fleeting nature of life. It is a poem that speaks to the heart and soul, and that captures the essence of what it means to be alive. If you haven't read it yet, I encourage you to do so – it's a masterpiece of modern poetry that will stay with you long after you've finished reading.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry is a form of art that has been around for centuries, and it has always been a way for people to express their emotions and thoughts. One of the most beautiful poems ever written is "A Musician's Wife" by Weldon Kees. This poem is a masterpiece that captures the essence of love, loss, and the beauty of life.
The poem is about a musician's wife who is left alone after her husband dies. The poem is written in the first person, and it is clear that the speaker is the wife. The poem is divided into three stanzas, and each stanza has a different tone and meaning.
The first stanza is about the wife's memories of her husband. She talks about how he used to play his music and how she used to listen to him. She remembers the way he used to look at her when he played, and how he used to make her feel. The stanza is full of nostalgia and longing, and it is clear that the wife misses her husband deeply.
The second stanza is about the wife's present situation. She talks about how she is alone now, and how she misses her husband's music. She talks about how she tries to fill the void by listening to other musicians, but it is not the same. The stanza is full of sadness and despair, and it is clear that the wife is struggling to cope with her loss.
The third stanza is about the wife's acceptance of her situation. She talks about how she has come to terms with her husband's death, and how she has learned to live without him. She talks about how she still listens to his music, but now it brings her comfort instead of pain. The stanza is full of hope and acceptance, and it is clear that the wife has found peace.
The poem is full of beautiful imagery and metaphors. The wife describes her husband's music as "a river of sound," and she talks about how it used to "wash over" her. This metaphor is powerful because it captures the way music can transport us to another place and time. The wife also describes her husband's music as "a bird in flight," which is a beautiful metaphor for the way music can soar and take us with it.
The poem is also full of symbolism. The wife talks about how she used to watch her husband's hands when he played, and how they were "like birds." This is a powerful symbol because it captures the way music can be a form of communication that transcends words. The wife also talks about how she used to watch her husband's face when he played, and how it was "like a mask." This is a powerful symbol because it captures the way music can be a form of self-expression that allows us to reveal our true selves.
The poem is also full of emotion. The wife's love for her husband is palpable, and her grief is heartbreaking. The poem captures the way love and loss are intertwined, and how they can shape our lives in profound ways. The poem is a testament to the power of love and the resilience of the human spirit.
In conclusion, "A Musician's Wife" is a beautiful poem that captures the essence of love, loss, and the beauty of life. The poem is full of beautiful imagery, metaphors, and symbolism, and it is a testament to the power of poetry to capture the human experience. The poem is a masterpiece that will continue to inspire and move people for generations to come.
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