Monday, November 12, 2012

Stephane Grappelli Plays Donald Hall


Two old men, one now dead, exercise
the vigour of their craft with deft agility
though the years have robbed them
of the dancing shoes they once wore to such

telling effect. I watched the violinist dodder
across the stage with painstaking frailty, once,
before the first notes seized him and a spry
gypsy jigged before us with articulate joy.

Oh, he was large; and life poured through him
in one long continuous bowing freely sung.
Could that be him shuffling from the stage after?
I saw magic done, and its name was Violin.

And late reminiscences of poets reading capture
the currents of an era in simple vignettes, laid down
like you might place a light brush to paper
if you were that sort of intricate artist. He is.

I laughed; I touched wisdom gleaned from a life
in letters; I eased my way along companionably.
Could be I remembered he taught me a poet crafts
from some place in the heart: its movement shaping words.

In the late evening you might hear the chuckle of old men.
When morning comes, you might have to carry on alone.


2 November 2012

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