The Feminith Poem: The Interpretation Of The Twelfth Song

Decent Essays
In the twelfth poem, the speaker begs the beloved to ignore surrounding threats and to enjoy their time together. The poem consists of only one sentence, the first half of which portrays the moment of intimacy they share while the second half contains the speaker’s request to the beloved to forget about their fear of discovery and separation.
The first verse describes the setting in a slightly ambiguous way as the noun “matten” can mean either mat or mountain meadow. Although the former would fit better with the shadows on the wall (vv. 4-5) in an indoor setting, the adjective “tiefen” is better suited to the latter and implies the lovers lie outside in the tall grass. The two adjectives “heilig” (sacred) and “tief” (deep) underline the absolute
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While the second part contains many strong images that are easy to convey, the contrasting first part is more elusive. The piano introduction starts like the ninth song – the beginning of the lover’s relationship – with two contrasting two-bar phrases. I try to convey the speaker’s desperate need of the beloved and his longing for unobtainable happiness on the one hand and the warmth and calm tenderness of the moment on the other hand. The outer quietness of the night contrasts the inner turmoil of feelings. It is tempting to consider only the “sacred rest” at the beginning of the song, but thinking forward and feeling the connection in the sentence works much better for conveying the couple’s underlying apprehension and their need to feel close to each other. The connection in the sentence also helps me to shape the interlude before the second part of the poem. The entry in bar 16 can be difficult for the singer if the preceding ritardando does not feel organic or gets too slow. If I think of the colon, I manage to shape the interlude in a way that makes the singer’s entry seem inevitable. I lead with the left hand while simultaneously bringing out the tension of the repeated right-hand chord syncopations. I change the dynamics entirely the moment the singer enters with the speaker’s hushed plea not to think of the horrors that might await them by using the pedal and a silent attack to let the sound of the left hand fade
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