In the last blog I told you that the festive season had reminded me of a soiree that Ibsen and his wife Suzannah gave in my play, The Eagle and the Tiger, and I let the narrator give you a brief introduction for each of the guests. It did not start well. The gentlemen admired the young Selma for her talent for the piano; Ibsen said the audience really looked at her figure and her clothes. After some forced discussion, the poet Falk composed a poem to compliment her:
Music’s muse is woman fair,
Grace of flesh and grace of air,
Mingled fragrance, sight and sound,
Female essence light, profound,
Deep desires resonating,
Hair and note, sweet curve and tone,
Sing their harmonies and hone
Deep within the hidden zone
Contrapuntal pleasures known
Only through the skin and ear
Sounding fugal touches clear.
Never let their mingling cease,
Beauty’s sound and beauty’s peace.
We’ll find out the response of Selma and the others next time.