Daily Archives: 12 October 2010

Jennifer Maiden on Joan Sutherland

Regular readers will know that I’m a  Jennifer Maiden fan. I expect few people will have read her poem ‘shortlist’, in her most recent book, Pirate Rain, and assume it counts as fair use if I give you the lines from that poem that refer to Dame Joan Sutherland, wrenched from their context with ragged edges, but a lovely description all the same:

when I was young, I heard the great
Sutherland sing quite often and saw
how she expanded the idea
_____ of voluptuousness
with a sweep of russet hair, her diaphragm
as wide as love’s horizon, lower lip
seductively trembling with each high note, as the dawn
flutters across a mountain, while
her molten silver, complex coloratura had
such ethical logic in it