Winter Fantasie

One clear winter night
In soft moonlight
Out on a frozen pond
Of which I was fond
On skates just you and I
Beneath the night sky
In each other’s arms
We danced with grace and charm
Twirling hearts entwined
We moved as one combined
Letting our love unwind

Flowing with our song
We waltzed along
Like two leaves in the breeze
We glided with ease
Swirling as we flew
Just as leaves do
Etching in the ice
Spirals so nice
Lavish as could be
We let our love flow free
For the stars to see

Drifting in the clear
I drew you near
As close as we could get
Until our lips met
In a passionate kiss
Our world filled with bliss
Lost in love’s flare
Together we shared
One another’s air

Caught under your spell
My eyelids they fell
There the dream dispelled
And in darkness I was left to dwell

It was just a dream
But so real it seemed
So real it seemed
Sigh

01.16.92 – 02.15.94

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This poem can be sung to the 18th Variation of the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43, by Russian composer, Sergei Rachmaninov (1873–1943).

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Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion
and published in Perspectives, ISBN 0-9686250-0-2.

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Notes to this poem…

This poem could either stand alone as it is, or to follow The Path Through the Night, a performance poem meant to be read with Sergei Rachmaninov’s 17th Variation on a Theme of Paganini (0.5 MB) in the background for effect, as was originally intended when composed.

In the latter scenario, The Path Through the Night left the reader with images appearing as a dream forced itself through a tumultuous grey sea of restlessness I recalled in my slumber. The grey had calmed, turned to white and now images were fading into the white, but nothing stark because as the first few lines indicated, it was a clear winter night under the soft moonlight.

If the poem were taken alone without The Path Through the Night, which would have been pretty much how anybody who had ever seen this poem up to this point would have seen, you would then just have the image like the start of a skating routine and off it went.

The 18th Variation of the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini is a ‘pop’ favourite among classical music pieces, and it’s not hard to hear why. It certainly captivated me the moment I heard it and I listened to a repeating loop of 2.9 minutes of it in blogging out this entire entry, without any negative sentiment of getting too much of it. I could really listen to it all day, although not having anything to sing to it did bother me enough that when I got the chance, as will be shown, I wrote lyrics for it so I could sing something to the music when I heard it.

As for the “you” in the poem, that was not someone real in my life but rather the 1988 Olympic Gold Medallist pairs figure skater Ekaterina Gordeeva, who was everything I could imagine in a woman at the time of the poem’s writing, and no less today, really, considering I only know her pristine media image. Beautiful, athletic, driven, graceful, charming, cultured, magical eyes, a stunning smile, even being my height at about 5’2″, what more could I have asked?

dsc_0409.jpg

Sure, she was married to her wonderful skating partner, Sergei Grinkov, but this was my dream, and I was skating with her, though only skating, no triple throws and jumps like they did on ice. 🙂

I didn’t make reference to Ekaterina because I prefer to write poems to someone over about someone. Well, maybe I should rephrase that. I like writing happy love poems to someone, but write sad love poems about someone so as not to sound like I’m whining. I don’t lament to others. I have a very good mechanism to deal with being dumped, rejected, tossed, or whatever, thank you, with writing poetry sometimes a part of that process. Don’t hold me to that claim for what voice I use to write about what kinds of love in poems, though. It’s a preference, not a requirement.

As for the poem, it was pretty simple. It just tells a few details about a general story of a nice little skate at night on a frozen pond beneath the moonlight, to the music for which the poem served as lyrics. Don’t ask me where the music would be coming from. That’s why the poem is called a Fantasie (the tasteful French version of the word). Anyway, towards the end of the poem, I gave Ekaterina a slow kiss, closed my eyes to enjoy it but only to wake up and find out it was a dream. Mind you, it was a really good dream because it really seemed very real. If it hadn’t, I probably would not have had the drive to even start this poem, but circumstances were right with the Russian music, Russian Ekaterina, skating involved, out in the open like where I like to skate, and some initial thoughts which’s words fitted well to the tune. That is always a good impetus for me to write a poem, when I’ve got the first couple of lines with my concept.

As for completing this poem, I just let it sit until I could get more pieces to it, the right words, and to fully describe my dream. It wasn’t easy, but whatever was not happening in my life near Valentine’s Day in 1994, I blocked it all out with intense focus to work on this poem and I Want You to force them through, which I did. You know, remembering back, I might not have been in love, but in being engulfed to complete Je te veux and this poem, constantly thinking about the thoughts expressed in each all day and night to try and find the right combination, arrangement and rhymes of words required for their completion, it sure didn’t feel much different than being in love. I was starry-eyed and “out of it” for all of the first half of February in 1994 walking around thinking about the these poems. Not surprisingly, Je te veux and this poem are among my favourites of all the poems I have written.

I have thought, at times, about sending this poem to Ekaterina, but even when it has become easier to find people and connect with them, like with emails to personal sites these days, I haven’t bothered. I can’t really tell you why. It just doesn’t feel right. Maybe I’ll change my mind one of these days. I’d still be thrilled to meet Ekaterina, though it’s not like I’ve tracked what she’s been up to since I wrote this poem a dozen years ago now.

As a final but somewhat disconnected side note, a few years after writing this poem, I met a very nice and fun young woman who bore a slight resemblance to Ekaterina. We did enough things together, but just stayed friends since she was in a relationship. I am still in contact with her, though I can’t say I know if she’s reading this blog. Whatever the case, that’s not the point. The point was that despite resembling Ekaterina, I never saw Ekaterina or thought of Ekaterina any time I ever talked to this young woman. Apparently, this charm Ekaterina had over me was only generally whenever I saw her on television or thought about her, but it never spread to anyone else unlike some people I know and let’s leave it at that.

I don’t know how many times the 18th Variation has played through during the time I took to blog this entry, but you know what? I’m going to listen to it one more time and then head to bed since it’s about 1:15 AM. Maybe this dream will turn itself into a recurring one like many others I have, but never yet this one.

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