Elaine Terranova, "Mahler"




Mahler's parents owned a tavern 

and lived over it.  He learned

as he dreamt.   A full orchestra 

could be playing in the fields, 

in the open, without a shed 

to contain the music.  After, 

one horn player might ask the loan 

of a toothbrush while a waitress 

sang, then tidied up.  What was left 

of the symphony would stagger 

up to him.  He saw how to cultivate then

a theme, how it might develop antlers.



Elaine Terranova has published six collections of poetry, most recently, Dollhouse, which won the Off the Grid Press poetry prize for 2013.  Her first collection, The Cult of the Right Hand, received the Walt Whitman Award. Terranova’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, Ploughshares and other literary magazines as well as a number of anthologies.