Wednesday, March 04, 2009

J.S. Bach: F# Minor Toccata

A little poem by Bill Holm that seems elegiac under the circumstances:

The music weeps, not for sin
but rather for the black fact
that we all must die, but not one
of us knows what comes after.
This music leaps from key to key
as if it has no clear place to arrive,
making up its life, one bar at a time.
But when you come at last to the real theme,
strict, inexorable, and bleak,
you must play it slow and sad,
with melancholy dignity, or you miss
all its grim wisdom.
In three pages, it says, the universe collapses,
and you — still only halfway home.

From Playing the Black Piano, Milkweed Editions 2004.

Thanks to Milkweed Editions for permission to reprint this poem.

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