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Monday, 9 March 2009

Bach's Booty



Three barrels of beer was Bach's pay. Still now
A dim shadow falls across the bright festal tone
As we follow the figured bass part down
Memory lane, where the art form's short term losses,
Simulating his disputes with authority,
Preclude the purple laurels victory brings.
Don't blow your wig, scholar. Let the beer fiddlers play
"The Warrior Minstrel of the Forlorn Hope."
Life remains long, but now and then as the silver
Chords gather and are sprinkled above the planet
Like sparks pinned to a blue velvet canopy
We get these inklings, self regard drifts away
From boreal night's cold lucid frame
Into postromantic darkness, and real stars come out.



Zephirine said...

This is nice:
(one of my favourite paintings too)

Anonymous said...

If I didn't know better, I'd swear I'd read this poem somewhere before...

tc/btp said...


The Scott Ross rendition of the Italian Concerto is lovely, as is the Fabritius--recalling your lines:

Set in a heavy frame
of carved black wood
it's quite a small painting.
A goldfinch on a perch
against a pale weathered wall.
The perch curves round
a grey wood box for food
bird-sized, convenient.
And then you see
the fine chain holding the bird captive...