Jean Nordhaus


Therese Grob, Schubert's first love, treasured the songs he gave her

but prudently married a prosperous baker.

                        Time/Life: Schubert and his Music


O, the buns, the buns, his fragrant loaves and Leckerli,

strudels and Lebkuchen, little frosted sugar cakes

set out on the banquette like babies in a row.


And when he came to me, flushed from the heat

of his ovens, smelling of yeast and chocolate,

white as a miller with flour on his shoes,

when he wooed me with marzipan

and braided crullers, odors issuing

from his shop in waves of rapture, who


could resist? O, comfort me with Linzertorte.

I've had an easy life, bread and meat on the table

a roof above my head, a kind man who loves me . . .


but, O, I've grown fat, fat, and sometimes

when scents of morning brötchen

penetrate my sleep like tremolos of lost love,

I think of that earnest, bespectacled cherub,

his head haloed with unruly curls—

nothing inside but harmonies and dotted half-notes—


how truly I sang for him

like the little bird that whistles sweet, sweet, sweet

outside my window.


Jean Nordhaus' fourth volume of poetry, Innocence, won the Charles B. Wheeler Prize and was published by The Ohio State University Press in November 2006.



Current Issue
Contributors' Notes

Email this poem Printer friendly page

A CLOSER LOOK: John Koethe

Bruce Bennett

Jane Blue

Debra Bruce

Phillip Calderwood

Ann Cale

Michael Catherwood

Christina Daub

Nancy Devine

Paul Fisher

E. Laura Golberg

Erica Goss

Paul Grayson

Gabe Heilig

Heather Hughes

Rich Ives

Rose Kelleher

Douglas Korb

Mary Ann Larkin

Lyn Lifshin

Doris Lynch

Katie Manning

Laura Manuelidis

Bonnie Maurer

Joan Mazza

Judith McCombs

Rachel McGahey

Claire McGoff

Joe Mills

Jean Nordhaus

Scott Owens

William Page

Rhodora Penaranda

Jacklyn Potter

Oliver Rice

Elisavietta Ritchie

A.L. Rodenberg

Marybeth Rua-Larsen

Tania Runyan

David Salner

E.M. Schorb

Lynda Self

Janice D. Soderling

Jim Solomone

Jack Stewart

John Surowiecki

Sharlie West














Last Updated: Mar 10, 2021 - 2:35:35 PM

Copyright 2005 - 2021 Cook Communication.