From The Silence
Sibelius lived in Järvenpää, Finland until he was over ninety. But he released virtually no music from his forest home for the last thirty years of his life and ‘the Silence from Järvenpää’ became as much of a talking point as the music. Continually pestered about an eighth symphony, the composer battled alcohol addiction, depression and above all self-criticism.
God’s door opens for a moment, and angels are singing him.
The notes form up on paper, like boys on the western front.
Earth and worms and heartache won’t stop the raid, can’t
avoid a stalemate. Wave after wave. No good. Yet a form
the honest artist may with luck and hard work uncover
hides beneath the bloody mess, a raw material from worlds
brutally broken up – dig, it’s a kind of clay and it moulds
the shape, the shape you’re after, the shape of when war is over.
An estuary path above an accompanying canal, homage
to light on water as it wakes to taste the sea. A fisherman catching
pike tells walkers the size of it, then returns to his tai chi.
Distant roads, a bike, the only noise, and wind rummaging
reeds that edge the canal. No bridge to help you reach
the far side, the estuary shore, though gradually seven locks
The page you have requested is restricted to subscribers only. Please enter your username and password and click on 'Continue'.
If you have forgotten your username and password, please enter the email address you used when you joined. Your login
details will then be emailed to the address specified.
If you are already a member and have not received your login details, please email us,
including your name and address, and we will supply you with details of how to access the archived material.
If you are not a member and would like to enjoy the growing online archive of Stand Magazine
, containing poems, articles, prose and reviews,
why not subscribe
to the website today?