Thursday, May 27, 2010

EDWARD HIRSCH, "THE BLUE RIDER"


THE BLUE RIDER


He remembered leaping over the corral
And riding on a blue horse
Through a blue valley flooded
With orange light in early morning.

The sky calm and unbending,
The sun shining with the glassy,
Transcendental clarity
Of high ceilings

In medieval German churches,
The radiance transfixed
Under the arches and glimmering
Through the rose-tinted windows,

But then the sky clouded over
And he woke up to a gangster moon
Pressed against the blurred windows
Of a train carrying soldiers

Over a bridge at nightfall,
The light blistered and bandaged
In smog, the blue horse gone
Into the flaming, war-torn mountains,

The sun crushed like a cinder
Under the metallic boots
Of twilight advancing,
A tunnel opening its black jaws

Over the glistening steel tracks
Stretching into darkness,
The wheels pounding, the iron
Hooves clattering beneath him.

            ~ Edward Hirsch, from Earthly Measures

**

Oriana:

I love the imagery (both visual and aural) throughout. I especially admire 

The sky calm and unbending,
The sun shining with the glassy,
Transcendental clarity
Of high ceilings

In medieval German churches,

-- and then the shift from that transcendence to a train carrying soldiers and "a tunnel opening its black jaws." 




Una:



Loved this poem, all the color and then the pllunge into the stark train tracks . I know those glorious German ceilings. Attended a wedding in one church in Linz and remember it as being so cold. It was as if it held onto all the cold of its hundreds of years.

Oriana:

I remember a thick-walled, fortress-like church in the town where I was born. Even on the hottest summer day, it seemed to hold the cold of the centuries. The extremely high ceilings of those churches, aside from creating a sense of transcendence, also mean that the interior remains cool at the floor level. 

2 comments:

  1. Interesting that there is no rider in the painting, but Hirsch has conjured up one.

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  2. Seretta:
    Wonderful poem! I too love the colors and details. The turn from what I perceive as childhood dreamy innocence into the reality of adulthood and war come at the point where the moon enters the poem "And he woke up to a gangster moon / Pressed against the blurred windows."
    Hirsch is amazing with his images and craftsmanship the way he leads us through the poem. And how powerful this line is: "Over a bridge at nightfall, / The light blistered and bandaged..." I'd like to know who you think "he" is.

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