Weldon Kees

(1914 - 1955 / Nebraska / United States)

A Musician's Wife - Poem by Weldon Kees

Between the visits to the shock ward
The doctors used to let you play
On the old upright Baldwin
Donated by a former patient
Who is said to be quite stable now.

And all day long you played Chopin,
Badly and hauntingly, when you weren't
Screaming on the porch that looked
Like an enormous birdcage. Or sat
In your room and stared out at the sky.

You never looked at me at all.
I used to walk down to where the bus stopped
Over the hill where the eucalyptus trees
Moved in the fog, and stared down
At the lights coming on, in the white rooms.

And always, when I came back to my sister's
I used to get out the records you made
The year before all your terrible trouble,
The records the critics praised and nobody bought
That are almost worn out now.

Now, sometimes I wake in the night
And hear the sound of dead leaves
against the shutters. And then a distant
Music starts, a music out of an abyss,
And it is dawn before I sleep again.


Comments about A Musician's Wife by Weldon Kees

  • Susan Williams (1/26/2016 5:32:00 PM)


    This poem let's us walk beside him as he visits the musician- - not only that, but the poet let's us into the sad corridors of his heart and mind. Poignant, yes. Well-written, yes. Forgettable, no. (Report) Reply

    14 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (1/26/2016 2:39:00 PM)


    On how time can shift you into another state, poignant and filmic (Report) Reply

  • Kim Barney (1/26/2016 12:53:00 PM)


    A haunting poem that touches on mental illness, not in the poet but in the musician. Very sad but extremely well written. (Report) Reply

  • Mohammed Asim Nehal (1/26/2016 11:04:00 AM)


    A music to life and the twist and turns are fantastic. (Report) Reply

  • Anil Kumar Panda (1/26/2016 10:52:00 AM)


    ' A music out of an abyss' is very nice. Sweet imagery.Liked it. (Report) Reply

  • (1/26/2016 4:53:00 AM)


    Amazing and touching memoirs about unsold records of the musicians troubling the betterhalf. Very amzing flight of imagery. Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (1/26/2016 1:18:00 AM)


    To play along with the songs of life. Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh Rai (6/24/2013 11:25:00 AM)


    Now, sometimes I wake in the night
    And hear the sound of dead leaves
    against the shutters. And then a
    distant
    Music starts, a music out of an abyss,
    And it is dawn before I sleep again.
    certainly, there is music in every step of nature.
    (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh Rai (6/24/2013 11:20:00 AM)


    Now, sometimes I wake in the night
    And hear the sound of dead leaves
    against the shutters. And then a
    distant
    Music starts, a music out of an abyss,
    And it is dawn before I sleep again.
    certainly, there is music in every step of nature.
    (Report) Reply

Read all 9 comments »



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Read poems about / on: fog, music, sister, sometimes, sleep, sky, night, tree



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



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