The collage pays homage to John Ashbery’s poem “Forget Where I Heard It” in the volume Breezeway. Ashbery had me at the title of this poem, yet there is so much more. I searched for peas and beans to shape a coma, as might be suggested by the poem’s middle stanza, but I couldn’t find them, which is probably just as well. (What is in his head that arrives at such lines?) Then, in the final stanza, he makes utter sense, reminding me, in ways that may seem oblique to anyone else, of Alice Goodman’s text for Chou En-Lai’s plaintive aria at the close of John Adams’s Nixon in China: “How much of what we did was good/Everything seems to move beyond our remedy.” [citation]
Claude Debussy, Ce qu’a vu le vent d’ouest (What the West Wind Saw) from Préludes (Book 1) (1909-10) (the first page of the score forms the backdrop for the collage)
On Spotify (Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli)
On YouTube (Michelangeli)
Credits: The text in the collage is the title of the Ashbery poem to which the collage relates. The image and underlying collage, as always on the blog unless otherwise indicated, are mine.