Retirees Association

Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler’s First Symphony, a poem by Lawrence E. Hussman

Excerpt from Last Things, a poetry collection by Lawrence E. Hussman, Professor Emeritus of English Languages and Literatures.

With what inner stir I first gave ear to it, this epic meld of fervor and ache.
A time of vigor and limitless yearning, not past my twenties.

Clamorous passages that ignited thrills, tender others piercing the innermost recesses of what the religious call the soul,
thunderous climax leaving the listener drained of sensation.

Each of his ten symphonies ever affecting,
but always my needed return again to the first, that treasured constant of my emotive life, rekindling desire and promise of meaning.

Now at this small hour, the music’s power spent, I’m left to wonder where all those longings led, what all this living meant.