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The Listening Chamber

LaukazShe Walks in Beauty (in Polish)
27th Sonnet
In and Out of Time
To the Evening Star
CordiCatherines Brief an Vincent aus "An fernen Ufern"
(Catherine's letter to Vincent from A Distant Shore, read in German)
Margarets Brief an Vater aus “Ein Anfang und ein Ende”
(Margaret's letter to Father from Song of Orpheus, read in German)
Surprised by Joy, excerpt, in German
GailBecause She Would Ask Me Why I Loved Her
I Know Not How it is With You
In a Dark Time
Life in a Love
Love in Twilight
Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal
The Presence of Love
Silentium Amoris
Sonnet XIV - If Thou Must Love Me
Jeff DavisA Dream Within a Dream
A Red, Red Rose
Distant Shores
The Darkling Thrush
VickyCatherine's letter to Vincent from A Distant Shore, read in Spanish

Sonnet XXVII, by William Shakespeare
  read by CatherineE

Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
But then begins a journey in my head,
To work my mind, when body's work's expired:
For then my thoughts, from far where I abide,
Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,
And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,
Looking on darkness which the blind do see
Save that my soul's imaginary sight
Presents thy shadow to my sightless view,
Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night,
Makes black night beauteous and her old face new.
   Lo! thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind,
   For thee and for myself no quiet find.

In and Out of Time, by Maya Angelou
  read by Catherine E

The sun has come.
The mist has gone.
We see in the distance...
our long way home.
I was always yours to have.
You were always mine.
We have loved each other in and out of time.
When the first stone looked up at the blazing sun
and the first tree struggled up from the forest floor
I had always loved you more.
You freed your braids...
gave your hair to the breeze.
It hummed like a hive of honey bees.
I reached in the mass for the sweet honey comb there....
Mmmm...God how I love your hair.
You saw me bludgeoned by circumstance.
Lost, injured, hurt by chance.
I screamed to the heavens....loudly screamed....
Trying to change our nightmares to dreams...
The sun has come.
The mist has gone.
We see in the distance our long way home.
I was always yours to have.
You were always mine.
We have loved each other in and out
in and out
in and out
of time.

Longing, by Matthew Arnold
  read by CatherineE

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

Come, as thou cam'st a thousand times,
A messenger from radiant climes,
And smile on thy new world, and be
As kind to others as to me!

Or, as thou never cam'st in sooth,
Come now, and let me dream it truth,
And part my hair, and kiss my brow,
And say, My love why sufferest thou?

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

To the Evening Star, by William Blake
  read by CatherineE
Thou fair-hair'd angel of the evening,
Now, whilst the sun rests on the mountains, light
Thy bright torch of love; thy radiant crown
Put on, and smile upon our evening bed!
Smile on our loves, and while thou drawest the
Blue curtains of the sky, scatter thy silver dew
On every flower that shuts its sweet eyes
In timely sleep. Let thy west wind sleep on
The lake; speak silence with thy glimmering eyes,
And wash the dusk with silver. Soon, full soon,
Dost thou withdraw; then the wolf rages wide,
And then the lion glares through the dun forest:
The fleeces of our flocks are cover'd with
Thy sacred dew: protect them with thine influence!

Catherines Brief an Vincent aus "An fernen Ufern"
(Catherine's letter to Vincent from A Distant Shore)
  read in German by Cordi


es ist so eigenartig, wir sind noch nie so weit voneinander entfernt gewesen  und doch fühle ich dich immer bei mir.
Manchmal  ist es, als würde ich die Dinge durch deine Augen sehen.

Die Sonne geht gerade auf, der Himmel ist rosa, der Ozean ist purpurrot und ich fühle mich wie ein Kind.

Ich wünschte, ich könnte alles in einer Muschel auffangen,
zu dir laufen  und in deine Hände gießen.

Alles - den Schrei der Möwen , die warme Sonne, die leichte Brise,
die Gischt des Meeres, den Geschmack von Salz, die Wellen.

Gerade ist es im Augenblick alles so still und die Wellen sind so friedlich.

Ich fühle mich von der ganzen Welt verlassen, aber ich weiß, dass du hier bist.

Ich ertappe mich dabei, wie ich mit dir rede, dir zuhöre.

Heute Morgen sind wir meilenweit den Strand entlang gelaufen
nur du und ich. Ich habe es so deutlich gesehen, Vincent.
Ich glaube nicht, dass ich es mir eingebildet habe.

Ich glaube, wir sind meilenweit zusammen gegangen.

Ich vermisse dich!

Margarets Brief an Vater aus “Ein Anfang und ein Ende”
(Margaret's letter to Father from Song of Orpheus, read in German)

Lieber Jakob,

Ich schreibe dir aus Paris. Mein Vater hat mich hierher geschickt. Der Frühling ist dieses Jahr sehr früh gekommen. Die Zeit für Liebende und es ist, als ob die Jahreszeit meiner Traurigkeit spottet. Aber ich beginne zuverstehen, dass Verlust manchmal nötig ist.

Ich finde nicht die Worte, um es dir schonend beizubringen. Mein Vater hat unsere Ehe annulliert und ich müsste lügen, wenn ich dir sage, dass ich mich dagegen zur Wehr gesetzt hätte. Ich kann es ihm nicht mal verübeln.

Verzeih mir Jakob, denn ich weiß, dass du unschuldig bist und ich habe trotzdem nicht die Kraft, dir beizustehen. Aber du bist stark, du wirst das alles verkraften – da bin ich ganz sicher.

Bitte hasse mich nicht! Wir haben nur eine so kurze Zeit gemeinsam gehabt. Alles was ich sagen kann, erscheint sinnlos und trotzdem klammere ich mich an  das Wrack meiner Erinnerungen, bevor sie für immer untergehen.

Lebwohl Jakob! Ich werde nie aufhören, dich zu lieben.


Surprised by Joy, by William Wordsworth, excerpt, in German
  read by Cordi

Surprised by joy — impatient as the Wind
I turned to share the transport — Oh! with whom
But Thee, deep buried in the silent tomb,
That spot which no vicissitude can find?
Love, faithful love, recalled thee to my mind — 
But how could I forget thee? Through what power,
Even for the least division of an hour,
Have I been so beguiled as to be blind
To my most grievous loss? — That thought's return
Was the worst pang that sorrow ever bore,
Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn,
Knowing my heart's best treasure was no more;
That neither present time, nor years unborn
Could to my sight that heavenly face restore.

A Dream Within a Dream, by Edgar Allen Poe
  read by Jeff Davis

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

A Red, Red Rose, by Robert Burns
  read by Jeff Davis

O my Luve's like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve's like the melodie
That’s sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry:

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only Luve
And fare thee weel, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.

Distant Shores, by Carol Shivers
  read by Jeff Davis

Before we met, you and I were halves,
unjoined except in the wide rivers of our minds.
We were each other's distant shore,
the opposite wings of birds,
the other half of a shell...

We did not know each other then,
did not know our determination to keep alive
the cry of one riverbank to the other.
We were apart, yet connected
in our ignorance of each other,
like two apples sharing a common tree.....

I knew you existed
long before you understood my desire
to join my loneliness to yours.
Our paths collided long enough
for our indecision to be swallowed up
by the greater needs of love. ..

Then you came to me..
The sun surged towards the earth
and the moon escaped from darkness,
to bless the union of two spirits
so alike that your pain became my discomfort.
In the hour when I stood naked,
you were there to play the drums of life for us....

Beloved partner, keeper of my heart's darkest secrets,
clothed in summer blossoms
so the icy hands of winter
never touches us,
I thank you for your patient love....

We are the reason the world can laugh
on it's battlefields,
and rise from the ashes
of it's selfishness, to hear me say,
In this time, this place, this way,
I love you the best of all.…

The Darkling Thrush, Thomas Hardy
  read by Jeff Davis

I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-gray,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

The land’s sharp features seemed to be
The Century’s corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware
She Walks in Beauty, by George Gordon, Lord Byron
  Polish translation by Polish poet Stanisław Barańczak
  read by Laukaz

She walks in beauty, like the night     
  Of cloudless climes and starry skies;     
And all that 's best of dark and bright     
  Meet in her aspect and her eyes:     
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
  Which heaven to gaudy day denies.     
One shade the more, one ray the less,     
  Had half impair'd the nameless grace     
Which waves in every raven tress,     
  Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express     
  How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.     
And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,     
  So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,     
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
  But tell of days in goodness spent,     
A mind at peace with all below,     
  A heart whose love is innocent!

Because She Would Ask Me Why I Loved Her, by Christopher Brennan
  read by Gail

If questioning would make us wise
No eyes would ever gaze in eyes;
If all our tale were told in speech
No mouths would wander each to each.

Were spirits free from mortal mesh
And love not bound in hearts of flesh
No aching breasts would yearn to meet
And find their ecstasy complete.

For who is there that lives and knows
The secret powers by which he grows?
Were knowledge all, what were our need
To thrill and faint and sweetly bleed?

Then seek not, sweet, the "If" and "Why"
I love you now until I die.
For I must love because I live
And life in me is what you give.

I Know Not How It is With You, by Robert Louis Stevenson
  read by Gail

I know not how it is with you --
I love the first and last,
The whole field of the present view,
The whole flow of the past.
One tittle of the things that are,
Nor you should change nor I --
One pebble in our path -- one star
In all our heaven of sky.
Our lives, and every day and hour,
One symphony appear:
One road, one garden -- every flower
And every bramble dear.

In a Dark Time, by Theodore Roethke
In a dark time, the eye begins to see,
I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;
I hear my echo in the echoing wood--
A lord of nature weeping to a tree,
I live between the heron and the wren,
Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den.

What's madness but nobility of soul
At odds with circumstance? The day's on fire!
I know the purity of pure despair,
My shadow pinned against a sweating wall,
That place among the rocks--is it a cave,
Or winding path? The edge is what I have.

A steady storm of correspondences!
A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon,
And in broad day the midnight come again!
A man goes far to find out what he is--
Death of the self in a long, tearless night,
All natural shapes blazing unnatural light.

Dark,dark my light, and darker my desire.
My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly,
Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?
A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.
The mind enters itself, and God the mind,
And one is One, free in the tearing wind.

Life in a Love, by Robert Browning
  read by Gail

Escape me?
While I am I, and you are you,
So long as the world contains us both,
Me the loving and you the loth
While the one eludes, must the other pursue.
My life is a fault at last, I fear:
It seems too much like a fate, indeed!
Though I do my best I shall scarce succeed.
But what if I fail of my purpose here?
It is but to keep the nerves at strain,
To dry one's eyes and laugh at a fall,
And, baffled, get up and begin again,---
So the chace takes up one's life ' that's all.
While, look but once from your farthest bound
At me so deep in the dust and dark,
No sooner the old hope goes to ground
Than a new one, straight to the self-same mark,
I shape me---

Love In Twilight, by Stephen Vincent Benet
  read by Gail

There is darkness behind the light -- and the pale light drips
Cold on vague shapes and figures, that, half-seen loom
Like the carven prows of proud, far-triumphing ships --
And the firelight wavers and changes about the room,

As the three logs crackle and burn with a small still sound;
Half-blotting with dark the deeper dark of her hair,
Where she lies, head pillowed on arm, and one hand curved round
To shield the white face and neck from the faint thin glare.

Gently she breathes -- and the long limbs lie at ease,
And the rise and fall of the young, slim, virginal breast
Is as certain-sweet as the march of slow wind through trees,
Or the great soft passage of clouds in a sky at rest.

I kneel, and our arms enlace, and we kiss long, long.
I am drowned in her as in sleep. There is no more pain.
Only the rustle of flames like a broken song
That rings half-heard through the dusty halls of the brain.

One shaking and fragile moment of ecstasy,
While the grey gloom flutters and beats like an owl above.
And I would not move or speak for the sea or the sky
Or the flame-bright wings of the miraculous Dove!

Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal, by Alfred Lord Tennyson
  read by Gail

Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font:
The firefly wakens:  waken thou with me.
Now droops the milkwhite peacock like a ghost,
And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.
Now lies the earth all Danae to the stars,
And all thy heart lies open unto me.
Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves
A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.
Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,
And slips into the bosom of the lake:
So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip
Into my bosom, and be lost in me.

The Presence Of Love, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  read by Gail

And in Life's noisiest hour,
There whispers still the ceaseless Love of Thee,
The heart's Self-solace and soliloquy.
You mould my Hopes, you fashion me within ;
And to the leading Love-throb in the Heart
Thro' all my Being, thro' my pulses beat ;
You lie in all my many Thoughts, like Light,
Like the fair light of Dawn, or summer Eve
On rippling Stream, or cloud-reflecting Lake.
And looking to the Heaven, that bends above you,
How oft ! I bless the Lot, that made me love you.

Romance, by Robert Louis Stevenson
  read by Gail

I will make you brooches and toys for your delight
Of bird-song at morning and star-shine at night.
I will make a palace fit for you and me,
Of green days in forests and blue days at sea.

I will make my kitchen, and you shall keep your room,
Where white flows the river and bright blows the broom,
And you shall wash your linen and keep your body white
In rainfall at morning and dewfall at night.

And this shall be for music when no one else is near,
The fine song for singing, the rare song to hear!
That only I remember, that only you admire,
Of the broad road that stretches and the roadside fire.

Silentium Amoris, by Oscar Wilde
  read by Gail

As often-times the too resplendent sun
Hurries the pallid and reluctant moon
Back to her sombre cave, ere she hath won
A single ballad from the nightingale,
So doth thy Beauty make my lips to fail,
And all my sweetest singing out of tune.

And as at dawn across the level mead
On wings impetuous some wind will come,
And with its too harsh kisses break the reed
Which was its only instrument of song,
So my too stormy passions work me wrong,
And for excess of Love my Love is dumb.

But surely unto Thee mine eyes did show
Why I am silent, and my lute unstrung;
Else it were better we should part, and go,
Thou to some lips of sweeter melody,
And I to nurse the barren memory
Of unkissed kisses, and songs never sung.

Sonnet XIV: If Thou Must Love Me, by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  read by Gail

If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love's sake only. Do not say
'I love her for her smile—her look—her way
Of speaking gently,—for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day'—
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee,—and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry,—
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love's sake, that evermore
Thou mayst love on, through love's eternity.

Catherine's letter to Vincent from A Distant Shore
  read by Vicky