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Mozart on a Winter Afternoon
Charlotte Mandel




Bows upon strings, violin and viola

sound notes light as gauze wings

of a dragonfly touching a stone

risen in the midst of a mountain brook

or whirling foam of rapids

loud as applause




Cello and another violin add

deepening river currents

flashes of silver scales

quick quivering fins




With clarinet the widening stream

flows past moss fringed with blue thyme

willow branches swaying to test

reflections in sun-and-shade dappled water

air echoing birds whistles and trills



Heaven,” sighs a listener.

Cheers reverberate to stained glass windows


We exit bundled against wintry wet wind

with visions of waist-high sunflowers

sibilant violet surf rinsing white sands

a rare cloud or two sailing

faultless blue


© by Charlotte Mandel.
Used with the author’s permission.





Charlotte Mandel's latest book of poetry, from David Robert Books, is titled Through a Garden Gate, poems inspired by the stunning garden settings created and photographed in color by Vincent Covello. Her awards include winner of the 2012 New Jersey Poets Prize and two fellowships in poetry from New Jersey State Council on the Arts. As a suburban wife and mother, Charlotte wrote no poetry until her true poetic self came to the fore in midlife. That self has now accomplished the publication of nine books of poetry, including two poem-novellas of feminist biblical revision; articles of literary scholarship, most notably essays on the role of cinema in the life and work of poet H.D. (Hilda Doolittle); publisher/editor of Saturday's Women, the Eileen W. Barnes Award Anthology; teaching—she recently retired after several years teaching poetry writing at Barnard College Center for Research on Women; and earning nearly a dozen residence fellowships. Learn more about Charlotte at








Post New Comment:
Lori Levy:
Love the intertwining of music and nature.
Posted 02/21/2017 11:16 AM
Poetry and Music. Is there a better combination. Really lovely. I shall read it again while listening to Tchaikovskys 1st Piano concerto.
Posted 02/21/2017 11:00 AM
Very lovely piece about the power of music in hearts and lives! Janice
Posted 02/21/2017 08:18 AM
Larry Schug:
This poem makes my heart skip a beat, my breathe catch, gives my skin goose bumps and takes me right into the concert hall.
Posted 02/21/2017 07:26 AM
Very clever. Music like his does transport us. Thank you.
Posted 02/21/2017 07:09 AM
...visions of waist high sunflowers. A delightful poem. To begin a new day.Thanks,Charlotte.
Posted 02/21/2017 07:08 AM
Congratulations, Charlotte! Lovely!
Posted 02/21/2017 07:06 AM
In a year of strange weather, this is a rare comfort!
Posted 02/21/2017 05:47 AM

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