Only for Music

Hakan Savlı

ario da capo

     —there is a child at the door, Mr. Brahms. He insists on seeing you.
     —let him in...

it was a cold and humid room, we were only two
you were a little girl whose neck burned with fever
love is halved... a quiet word
an old world now filled with your absence
my beloved, listen, you are the clavichord

don't wash your belly, stay like that, sleep like that
let the rose I gave you dry like that...
a fragment of immortal memories
my face... the sound of a harp... forget everything
my beloved, listen, you are the clavichord

and Brahms in his deathbed
a wounded child plays clavichord for him
no one can turn music into life
a child is only for music
goodbye, my beloved, you are the clavichord

Before his death, Brahms adapted the theme of his last melodies written for stringed instruments from that child who played the harpsichord. So did I adapt from you, my dear. Good-bye. Büyükada 1996-Acıbadem 2003.

translated from the Turkish by Abbas Karakaya and Elizabeth Raible