Tuesday, February 13, 2018

La Romance d'Ariel


Sunday, I went to the Academy of Vocal Arts, here in Philadelphia, for a recital of songs by Claude Debussy. On admittance, I was given a handout with the texts of all the songs in English translation Perhaps it was rude of me, but as a five-finger exercise I tried writing a short-short story for each of the songs as it was being sung. There were 23 songs and I managed 22 extremely short stories. The last was so beautiful I couldn't bring myself to write anything.

Here's the first one I wrote.

La Romance d’Ariel

Miranda thought nothing of it when song burst out of nowhere, praising her beauty, her virtue, the golden tips of her hair. For her this was normal. All her life it had happened. How could it not?

To love-struck Ariel, time was but another direction. He had sung of the wild roses of her forehead shedding their white petals on the day she was born. On the day she left Prospero’s Isle, he would turn around and dive back into her youth, carrying with him his unrequited desire. There he would dwell forever.

Eternally faithful, always unnoticed.

Copyright 2018 by Michael Swanwick. All rights reserved.


Robyn McIntyre said...

So well suited to Valentine's Day. And so sweetly melancholy. I love Debussey.

Mark Pontin said...

Have you read 'The Sea and the Mirror' by W. H. Auden? Forgive me if the answer is 'Of course!'But if not, you will almost certainly like it.