Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Poem: Daughters of Cecilia: Antonina Milyukova

Daughters of Cecilia
Antonina Milyukova

No, no, I'll not on this earth give my love to another. Whatever part fate may decree, I am yours!
    — Tatiana, Eugene Onegin

Terrified, man-mad Tchaikovsky. You send him a crush note as he composes Onegin. He instructs you to quell your feelings.

He writes Tatiana's world-lifting Letter Scene, followed by Onegin's cruel dismissal, and feels guilty. So he marries you.

The honeymoon inspires Tchaikovsky to throw himself into the Moscow River. The desired pneumonia fails to arrive.

He pays you off, at 6,000 rubles a year. You bear three children by another man. Still, you refuse a divorce.

Sixteen years later, Tchaikovsky flirts with a duke's nephew. A court of colleagues orders him to kill himself. He does so.

You outlive him by twenty-four years, condemned by a court of your own to hold on to the ancient tether, as it pulls you from one asylum to the next.

I picture your face at the barred window, tracking the silversnail path of the moon. Listening to the Pathetique, over and over.

First published in Terrain.org
Photo by MJV

No comments: