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  • Scott Williamson

Postcards: Haiku for 30/30 Project

Gérard de Nerval (1809-1855)


I. for Gustav Mahler

Not content to just

reach the summit—No. I want

to stay—Abide there.

Auferstehn…” Perhaps.

But this much we know: hearts beat

race, deceive, and die.

II. for Gérard de Nerval

Your Daughters of Fire

flicker through the planispheres

tongues of brazen light


Mais ne ce pas possible

Your songs bleed nectar

Artemis! Horus!

Delfica! Return and save

the world from Stupid

III. for Richard Wagner

1. Liebestod (Tristan & Isolde)

As night waxes to

dissolution one glimpses


“do you hear the sound?”

a warm planetary voice

intones. Yes. I come.

2. The Valkyrie (original release & special edition)

Farewell. Lebwohl. Good- | Thanks a lot, Wotan.

bye. For now, radiant one. | You’re such a great Dad. Really,

A ring of fire yet | We should all bow down.

To encircle your | Oh wait. You just made

Valor. The least my honor | Us do that. And now I’m shamed

affords you this hour. | In front of them all.

Your insatiable | A “ring of fire”? This

desire will yet awaken | is just one of your schemes, right?

a hero in time. | Say I’ll wake up fine

You do not vainly | I require no hero

sleep dreaming of redemption. | I will not yield my pulse-blood

Resurrection waits. | I need no saving


These haiku make up my poem for Day 28 of the Tupelo Press 30/30 Project. Click here to support my work and the work of a great, independent, small press and fellow non-profit.

After hesitating, I decided to omit the third section of Wagner haiku, "Siegfried." I trust I haven't cut

off a nose and smote a face... Click here to read it at Tupelo. Please let me know what you think, and thanks for reading.

Wagner bust, Venice (2012; nose was broken during 2016 visit...)

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