Thursday, October 18, 2012

Four Riffs on "Three Musicians" (Picasso)


A tune is the ultimate abstraction,
An emotion expressed as a fraction.
Some notes invariably repeated
Become a cold emotion reheated.

Not all musicians are made of music.
Some are talent, some mere facility.
The best I've known live a necessity,
Like physicists slave to mathematics.

Picasso's clowns can only make us dance,
Twist our senses into a whirling trance.

I've wept at the silence a conductor
Held at the end of the Ninth of Mahler,
As if to say, "Behold what's gone before --
Anguish, redemption, hope -- and don't despair."

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