Maxwell Bodenheim

1892 - 1954 / Mississippi / United States

Two Sonnets To My Wife

Because her voice is Schönberg in a dream
In which his harshness plays with softer keys
This does not mean that it is void of ease
And cannot gather to a strolling gleam.
Her voice is full of manners and they seem
To place a masquerade on thought and tease
Its strength until it finds that it has knees,
And whimsically leaves its heavy scheme.

Discords can be the search of harmony
For worlds that lie beyond the reach of poise
And must be captured with abandoned hands.
The music of my wife strives to be free
And often takes a light, unbalanced voice
While madly walking over thoughtful lands.
II
My wife relents to life and does not speak
Each moment with a deft and rapid note.
Sometimes a clumsy weirdness finds in her throat
And ushers in a music that is weak
And bargains with the groping of her heart.
But even then she plays with graver tones
That do not sell themselves to laughs and moans
But seek the counsel of a deeper art.

She drapes her loud emotions in a shroud
Of glistening thought that waves above their dancej
And sometimes parts to show their startled eyes.
The depths of mind within her have not bowed
To sleek emotion with its amorous glance.
She slaps his face and laughs at its surprise!
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