Mozart's Third Brain (The Margellos World Republic of Letters)
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Winner of the 2006 Nordic Council’s Literature Prize, Swedish writer Göran Sonnevi is undoubtedly one of the most important poets working today. In Mozart’s Third Brain, his thirteenth book of verse, he attempts “a commentary on everything” – politics, current events, mathematics, love, ethics, music, philosophy, nature. Through the impeccable skill of award-winning translator Rika Lesser, Sonnevi’s long-form poem comes to life in English with the full force of its loose, fractured, and radiating intensity.
A poetic tour de force that darts about dynamically and imaginatively, Mozart’s Third Brain weaves an elaborate web of associations as the poet tries to integrate his private consciousness with the world around him. Through Lesser’s translation and preface, and an enlightening foreword by Rosanna Warren, readers of English will finally gain access to this masterpiece.
repetition; not even in pure logic The stars come out in the pale-green luminous sky above the dark trees The stream rushes more quickly It is hard to give yourself over to darkness; still we must do it Late in the night I move around in the dark house My dreams are unsettling, ﬁlled with mockery, persecution, plans that come to nothing In the morning I play 12 Mozart’s Third Brain Mozart, a late quartet in D major, a soft recording on old instruments, harmonious How can I invoke a new change
TV Almost all the time CNN broadcasts live What is still alive I want to believe that you are still living I will play for you what will become your requiem I will light candles XXXVI There are moments when music becomes clear even in its utmost complexity, unknown even at the point of simplicity, the needle’s point of nothing There the last music becomes the ﬁrst Nothing is cancelled out We are at the great divide Where we touch one another, in real integrity The battle is over You fought to
Where coercive power, over the other, does not exist This is music’s secret When music moves, sovereign, in time, its own time For that is what deﬁnes it South African faces, in the ﬁrst free election The dignity, the joy breaking through, the laughter, the tears And the wave of warmth As if the terrorist bombs, the violence, did not even exist Amandla! The strength to do what? The power to do what? We shall see— There’s the fear that disappointment will come Also inside myself But that is not I
map of Chiapas, news of the continuing rebellion there, even after a year I wonder how things are Mozart’s Third Brain 115 in the Lacandonian Rainforest The state of our planet: always crystallizing For Swedenborg it was simpler Every point of a human body, a human brain, was inﬂuenced by a very large number of spirits, organized in societies or associations Music’s movements in these associations, 18th-century, full of grace Maybe also in Hell Swedenborg seldom bathed in his old age I see the
ﬂow, also Plato’s Diotima, her ﬂow . . . Hölderlin saw the stream of people in dark water, streaming over the ledges in the human-geological world, the levels of the abyss, Paradise’s various degrees of stasis What use can I make of these magical forms? I’m no magician And yet I acknowledge their power, also within my self If they prevail, sovereignty is crushed Libero arbitrio There the forms also break down The stream of love breaks down Fluid lightning The ﬂash of vibrating being But also the