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“A certain take on loss”

September 10, 2013

Alexandra Leaving

Cohen recites verses 4 and 5.

Even though she sleeps upon your satin; 
Even though she wakes you with a kiss. 
Do not say the moment was imagined; 
Do not stoop to strategies like this. 

As someone long prepared for this to happen, 
Go firmly to the window. drink it in. 
Exquisite music. Alexandra laughing. 
Your first commitments tangible again. 

Reminds us of CP Cavafy’s poem The God forsakes Anthony

When suddenly, at midnight, you hear
an invisible procession going by
with exquisite music, voices,
don’t mourn your luck that’s failing now,
work gone wrong, your plans
all proving deceptive—don’t mourn them uselessly.
As one long prepared, and graced with courage,
say goodbye to her, the Alexandria that is leaving.
Above all, don’t fool yourself, don’t say
it was a dream, your ears deceived you:
don’t degrade yourself with empty hopes like these.
As one long prepared, and graced with courage,
as is right for you who proved worthy of this kind of city,
go firmly to the window
and listen with deep emotion, but not
with the whining, the pleas of a coward;
listen—your final delectation—to the voices,
to the exquisite music of that strange procession,
and say goodbye to her, to the Alexandria you are losing. 

Then Sharon Robinson sings it (click here)

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