Clara’s Lament

Clara! Clara! I hear him screaming my name in the asylum.

But when I visit he is silent.

His mind excludes me.

I stare at eyes that are already long gone.


Eyes that live in a void.

A void that erases love.

A void that idealises self-murder.

He doesn’t let me in.


Should I be thankful?

Could I ever understand him?

As the plagued silhouette of a man I used to love so avidly?

Why would his mind that held me dear reject my image so suddenly?


I didn’t have time to write the notes, to compose the outcome.

I couldn’t follow and yet I heard the void’s melody in my head.

And realised its horrid intentions.

That’s what music does; I could never resist it.


Robert, we lost half of our children.

It tastes like poison indeed.

When I touch your skin, I sense the gallop of non-recovery.

I put your heartbeat in my fingertips, your face in my head.


How could I end up deaf?

How could your melody still reside in my veins? So beatifically played.

Our lives a ballad of efforts.

Robert, I will die hearing your song, mine, ours.


And even if the void put us in two different rooms, so far away from one another,

And you barely recognised me on your deathbed and in your delirium,

We lived side by side, through a medium in both our hearts and spirits,

The uniting melodies, music, that conquers an insane mind.


“Clara Wieck” by Johann Heinrich Schramm (1801-1865)


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