Winter 1986 • Vol. VIII No. 1 Poetry |

Robert Schumann

Hardly a day passes I don't think of him in the asylum: younger than I am now, trudging the long road down through madness toward death. Everywhere in this world his music explodes out of itself, as he could not. And now I understand something so frightening, and wonderful— how the mind clings to the road it knows, rushing through crossroads, sticking like lint to the familiar. So! Hardly a day passes I don't think of him: nineteen, say, and it is spring in Germany and he has just met a girl named Clara. He turns the corner, he scrapes the dirt from his soles, he runs up the dark staircase, humming.

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