Saturday, March 14, 2015

A Dance To The Music of Time (Nicolas Poussin), Sonnet #233

I once watched a conductor stop the world.
At the end of Mahler's Ninth, vibrations
Still fading from the concert hall, he held
His arms up, motionless, for a minute,
Forcing the audience's attention
On the growing silence, to the now mute
Voice of what had come before, of sorrow,
And obliteration of tomorrow.
It was as if he said, Behold, what's gone
Of suffering and death, all that's beyond
Us now; behold and do not be afraid.
And when he lowered his hands no one said
Bravo, cheered (though some wept), or applauded
For forever. Then the room exploded.

I believe in something we call Time
As if it were my own personal god.
I slow it with meter, speed it with rhyme,
And know when it's even and when it's odd.
Under anesthetic, I've completely
Vanished in a vacuum of duration.
In my dreams it embraces me sweetly,
Dancing me in circles of cessation.
I fight Time sometimes with my memories
And foresee circumstances to stop them.
Time indulges my mental forgeries --
Time's the poet; I am but a theorem.
Time is a beautiful woman, ugly
Only when she's gowned with eternity.

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