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Robert Marsland

Shostakovich aches and thunders
through the dark Russian night
Shostakovich bloodily draws that tempest
in and sings in the blackest fear
and the greyest wonderments of pain and suffering.
Those thresholds that are God given –
that we are all given
and Shostakovich makes music
so heartfloodingly, expressionistically gradual,
almost, merely without borders, but oh-so black,
so very black and grey, so very black and grey.
Shostakovich did as much as he could
with Stalin granite heavy on his back.
I ask, could any pampered critic
do the same with that totemic twenty
tonne pressure to fight and to justify? THAT
something that threatened to STAMP
and CHOKE and flatten the very life out of him.

It’s a wonder he composed anything at all.





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