Concerto for Birdsong
I hadnít heard the piece before
but I saw forests, steamy dawns,
a painting by Rousseau, all tiger-stripes
and rusts; a hot-house, rain-washed greenery
where monkeys chatter-called and weaved
their loops through crowns of glossy trees.
You didnít know the music either
but youíd watched the Arctic skies.
You tasted mint, clean on your tongue
and felt the ache of ice. You heard
a cracking at the margins; saw
the unstoppable melt-water gush.
And when they played that final swirl
I saw vast flocks of golden birds
returning home. You said it was
the parting song of swans.
Cantus Arcticus, Op. 61, is
an orchestral composition written by
the Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara in
1972. It is probably his best-known work.
Listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uRQkXSfDOU
If you have any thoughts on this poem, Annie Fisher would be
pleased to hear them.