Shadow Dawn

It was the voice that led me to uncover more about the lyrics. They are read by Tilda Swinton.

“How enduring, how we need durability
The sky before sunrise is soaked with light
Rosy colour tints buildings, bridges, and the Seine
I was here when she with whom I walk wasn’t born yet
And the cities on a distant plain stood intact
Before they rose in the air with the dust of sepulchral brick
And the people who lived there didn’t know
Only this moment, at dawn, is real to me
The bygone lives are like my own past life, uncertain
I cast a spell on the city, asking it to last.”

It’s the whole poem “At Dawn” in Czesław Miłosz’s collected in Unattainable Earth
which forms the opening of “Shadow Journal” by Max Richter.

And with more research, we learn that the song belongs to a protest album (against the 2003 Iraq War).

In my own listening, I thought that the quoting of the poem was an extract. It turns out that it is the whole thing. It still juts out in memory as a fragment. Such is the distance between hearing and seeing: for the ear a spell is cast whose outcome is uncertain and for the eye the poem on the page is stilled, collected, enclosed.

And so for day 2549

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