Einaudi off Svalbard, 2016

July 16, 2016 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Thirty years back I imagined them,
two violins, viola and cello
playing the score of the iceberg
as it dissolved into meltwater,

the fishkettle ocean awash
with the corpses of whales
and the adagio quickening
a few bars at a time towards

its catastrophic allegro.
Now ice slips from the keys
of Einaudi’s piano, set square
on a platform to drift

in and out of the growlers,
and the composer in view of
a Greenpeace mothership
plays his Elegy for the Arctic.

It’s a grave piece now I watch it
on YouTube, less than three
minutes long, cliffs of ice
at a couple of points shearing

away from their anchorage
to fall with percussive roar,
and a gull from The Seafarer
sweeping by overhead

on its terminal quest for fish.
Imagination anticipates,
searches out consequence,
celebrates, warns, laments;

if I foreshadowed Einaudi,
what future does he presage
for the Arctic thirty years on?
We drill for our fossil fuels,

poison the air with exhausts,
thirty years closer to crisis point
and irreversible meltdown.
He draws his fingers away

from the finale as though,
having launched the small floes
on their ocean-borne journey,
he fears what may become

of them in the warm currents,
the seas of incomprehension,
self-interest, indifference,
the deaf ears confounding us all.

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This post was written by John Gohorry

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