‘In Concert’ – a poem by Tamar Yoseloff

Picture credit: Stephen Wells


    In Concert


We were sitting in a crowded hall, waiting
for the lights to dim – before the halls
were emptied – strangers sharing breath,
breathing as one when the music began.
How strange to be silent together, listening
as sound filled the air; shallow breathing
of a man next to me, deep in concentration,
his arm against mine, the intimacy of listening
in the dark as time collapsed, his breath in time
with the music. I miss the brush of his arm –
it annoyed me then – I miss his breathing,
held on a note, waiting for the orchestra to rise;
liquid longing of the strings, the drums
gathering force, the horns’ flash and fade.
The bare arms of the violins working as one,
girls in black, lifting the tune from the score.
Music could be conjured by a baton’s wave
and we were its conductors, our bodies
pliant in plush seats, absorbing vibrations;
all we had to do was allow it to enter.


Tamar Yoseloff

About Tamar Yoseloff

Tamar Yoseloff’s sixth collection is 'The Black Place' (Seren, 2019). She’s also the author of 'Formerly' (with photographs by Vici MacDonald), shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award, and collaborative editions with artists Linda Karshan and Charlotte Harker respectively. She’s a lecturer on the Poetry School / Newcastle University MA in Writing Poetry.