Poetry Sunday: ‘Mozart’s Mother’s Bones,’ by Robin Ekiss


[From the WVFC Poetry Archive. First Published May 8, 2016]

Mozart’s Mom’s Bones

Each shadow carries its personal,
                  however is simply too darkish to see it—
as within the nautilus,
                                every flip of sunshine
         leads into darkness,

or the corridor outdoors her bed room
                  the place we fought like youngsters     
concerning the disposition
                                of her possessions,
         anger envelops love.

Recalcitrant as opals,
                  Mozart’s mom’s bones
are buried within the partitions
                                of the Paris catacombs—
         hers lay starched within the sheets.

It was tougher to make her love me
                  than to drive the celebs
into the ocean. I keep in mind
                                the wave-cuneiform
         of her hair,

ridged like sand above her shoulders,
                  and within the rain,
how she appeared down
                                via the pavement—
         one thing to do

with disgrace and disengagement.
                  Love embraces anger,
someplace apart from the place we’ve been—
                                gentle piercing the darkish
         shade of remembrance.

Mozart’s Mom’s Bones are buried
                  within the partitions
of the Paris catacombs. How else is there
                                to bury this
         white, fascinating dying?


First revealed in Virginia Quarterly Assessment and from pp. 11-12 of The Mansion of Happiness (College of Georgia Press, VQR Collection, 11/1/09) by Robin Ekiss. Value: $16.95. ISBN: 978-0-8203-3408-0. Printed with permission of the press. All rights reserved.  Order the e book here.

Robin Ekiss is a former Stegner Fellow in poetry at Stanford, recipient of a Rona Jaffe Basis Award for rising girls writers, and creator of the e book, The Mansion of Happiness, winner of the 2010 Shenandoah/Glasgow Prize, and a finalist for the Balcones Poetry Prize, Northern California Ebook Awards, and Commonwealth Membership’s California Ebook Awards. She’s acquired residencies from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Convention, Millay Colony for the Arts, MacDowell Colony, and Headlands Heart for the Arts, and her work has appeared in The Atlantic Month-to-month, POETRY, APR, Ploughshares, Kenyon Assessment, New England Assessment, and elsewhere. She’s a contributing editor for ZYZZYVA, and on the advisory board of Litquake, the West Coast’s largest literary pageant, in addition to a contract copywriter and avid baker. She lives in San Francisco along with her husband, the poet Keith Ekiss, and their son. You may learn extra of her work at her web site, robinekiss.com.



Poet’s Notes

I used to be listening to NPR within the automotive (one thing I do lots) and heard a profile concerning the Paris catacombs. The journalist was mentioning a number of the well-known folks (and their kin) interred there, calling out—surprisingly, I believed— that Mozart’s mom’s bones had been buried there. It was a jarring notation, a historic apart for a girl who was one herself. It triggered one thing mortal in me, deep beneath the floor. These phrases (Mozart’s Mom’s Bones) had been a sort of transportive mantra for me; they took me to the bedside of my very own mom in my thoughts, and raised associations about the problems of my relationships (each alive and lifeless) and the impossibility of burial of any form. The physique, love, anger, gentle and darkness: for me, writing the poem was a approach to work via the every day train of residing above floor, and start to query the unknown life that’s actually buried beneath all of it, beneath and round us in all places.


Notes on “Mozart’s Mom’s Bones

Rebecca Foust, Poetry Editor

Rebecca Foust, Poetry Editor

I selected this poem for Mom’s Day in success of my quest for poems for Hallmark holidays that aren’t—Hallmark poems. This one is from Mansion of Happiness, a beautiful e book that features a number of poems to and concerning the poet’s mom, at occasions with an emphasis on her ardour for miniatures. What drew me to this one was the fantastic resonance of the title. “Mozart” and “mom” are each trochees scanned as an accented adopted by an unaccented syllable. The sense of falling imparted by these cascading stresses is stopped by the stress on “Bones.” The result’s resonance, mixed with rhyming phrases (Mozartwork and bones) and consonance (Mozart’s and Mdifferent), charging the phrase in a means that jogs my memory of what Emily Dickinson stated about groupings of phrases that, to her, “glowed.”

The construction of “Mozart’s Mom’s Bones” is fascinating: quatrains that don’t (on account of the way in which second and fourth strains are indented) appear to be quatrains. These indentations, along with a number of truncated strains creating white house, impart an airiness that works in opposition to conventional “blocky” quatrain construction. In addition they de-emphasize stanza construction; that’s, stanzas appear subsumed within the bigger construction of the poem in a means that jogs my memory of a skeleton whose particular person bones are distinct however clearly a part of a larger entire.

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