Jenne' Andrews is an American poet. She has three published chapbooks including the recent Blackbirds Dance in the Empire of Love, Finishing Line Press 2013.

A full-length collection, Reunion, Lynx House Press, was published in 1983; after a long hiatus to raise Golden Retrievers in Colorado, recent work has appeared in The Passionate Transitory, Belletrist Coterie, The Adirondack Review and Vox Populi, a journal of culture, politics and poetry published and edited by the august Michael Simms.

A bilingual collection of "Italiana," Bocca, Voce, Delirio, with translations by Lorenzo Luciani, will be released by Finishing Line at the end of 2016 and her latest collection, And Now, the Road, a finalist for the Autumn House prize in 2014, will be released by Salmon Poetry Ltd, Ireland, a highly regarded international house, Jessie Lendennie, Publisher, circa 2017.

Andrews holds the MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry from Colorado State University, is a literary fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts, and was full-time Poet in Residence for the St. Paul Schools from '74-78. She lived in St. Paul from 1971-78 during the first wave of the Twin Cities literary renaissance, and spent the summer of 1973 in Reggio Calabria, Italy.

The poet lives in northern Colorado's Poudre River Valley with her husband, fiction writer Jack Brooks; the couple has recently imported two British Golden Retrievers and expects a litter in June-- see the Ardorgold website for details. Contact: jenneandrews2010@gmail.com .

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Poem for Saturday - Rubato Ma Non Troppo....

 La Pensee - Marble, Rodin -- Musee d'Orsay

Rubato Ma Non Troppo, for Valentina Lisitsa

This is the animal that never was.
They didn't know, and loved him anyway:
his bearing, his neck, the way he moved,
the light in his quiet eyes.

Rainer Maria Rilke Sonnets to Orpheus II, 4

Lisitsa’s hands caress the flock of blackbirds: 
The Grieg, Saturday,
Lawns simmering in green fire.

Her hands, this Orfea, ignite
The piano
So that grief's’s sea-crashings pour forth

And the encore La Campanella
Places tiny blue flames
Against the spine of the listener.

But Rodin has trapped a woman
In stone…a woman. Une femme. 
La Pensee
See that her capped head rests

On her own tomb, the hard eyes
Of thought, thought
With its fistfuls of metal tongues
Its scripts and redoubled arguments.

Why a woman in stone?  
Because of his Camille of the Camellias?
A man would lock us in, 
shut us up.

Praise for the real
To hell with the ideal.
We bleed.  We tremble.
We yearn.


Trapped, in marble, truncated Venus
Mute Orfea.  Yet the pianist
In her incandescent freedom,
her long prescient fingers
her seraphic womanliness 

Rings the sweet chimes
Of the Grieg, so that the cloud
At the lawn’s edge opens itself
To the tongues of light.

For you, La Pensee, head in the avalanche
Broken from the mountain.
Eternal witness, muse entombed
For you 
night's bell song coloratura
The clouds, with their rainy 
Las Campanellas and rejoicing

La Pensee in the rain gardens
The wet tulips, their bellisima
bel canto, weeping
for each Orfea
Locked in stone.


Valentina Lisitsa is a young Latvian pianist who has taken the world by storm; Her performance of the Grieg Piano Concerto with the encore of Las Campanellas and other pieces is on You Tube.

If the word "rubato" is written on a vocal score, it means that the singer is at liberty to ornament her singing.  Coloraturas are infamous for their rubati.

The Lakme Bell Song is a showpiece for the coloratura voice.

Camille was Rodin's mistress and model.

Rodin had other notions about the meaning of his La Pensee, of course--to show the dichotomy of body and soul, feeling/intellect, the weight of the intellect inhibiting the body.  My "rubato" is to take liberties with Rodin's "score." jra

copyright Jenne' R. Andrews


hedgewitch said...

That is a rather grisly statue, on close examination. A head severed from the female, surrounded by stone, becomes as stone. "...fistfuls of metal tongues.." extremely sharp image.

Brendan said...

Rodin's trapped-in-marble muse makes me think of those bodies pulled from peat-bogs, preserved for many centuries in the manner of their death - probably sacrificed to the god. Art requires discipline and form, a certain confinement to a medium; yet a dominating ego suffers no challenge to its rule, not even from his muse; and thus the entrapment, of the psyche and the work. Wonderful contrast using gender as its mainspring, though it may be the contrast of media - sculpture of necessity works to free a form from stone, while music lifts its wings from its very scales. Loved the quote from Rilke's Sonnets; its speaks of how imagination must run far ahead of the work. - Brendan

jen revved said...

Thank you both, Joy and Brendan, for stopping by and giving me your take. One is never sure-- hence the value of a readership, however small. xxxj