Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: Strauss and Cows of Ireland
Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate
One evening amidst the silence of an artists’ retreat in rural Ireland, Mekeel McBride of Kittery suddenly heard faint, distinct music from a room below -- “a sweet, odd shock,” she writes, that made her feel as if the music came from everything around her, “intrinsic and also completely otherworldly.”
Strauss and Cows of Ireland by Mekeel McBride
From my room at dusk I watch the cows in their late graze. Great clouds of gnats hang over them, gauzy as a bride’s bouquet. Downstairs, a radio. Soprano’s aria swells so delicate and pure it must be unrequited love but just what the opera is I can’t tell from here, though later learn: Strauss, Der Rosenkavalier. Cows continue to drift the dusky pasture, luminous, as if fed on candlelight instead of grass. They pass with heavy gentleness, now and then stopping to lean toward our windows with little regard for human arias that reach them though it conducts through me a sweetness: distant opera and the wandering of star-tiaraed cows in darkness.
Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2006 Mekeel McBride. Reprinted from Dog Star Delicatessen, Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2006, by permission of Mekeel McBride. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Special Consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at email@example.com or 207-228-8263. Take Heart: Poems from Maine, an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.