Friday, May 10, 1996

EROICA (as performed by Glenn Gould)

Sounds like it was recorded 
  in a garage, piano
chords bounding and disappearing
  in a vast chamber, the roof
lifted, his figure coiled, low-
  boned, nocturnal. Through spaces
the original intention forms
  and is painful, erudite,
collapsing; he would walk around
  his instrument, measuring 
a distance of centuries,
  matching a brilliance he would keep
to himself until clarity
  would compel him to begin.

Master or servant, listening to
  a voice which would confuse such 
distinctions, needing those rests
  which swell into deafness, then 
pounding back with something like fear.
  What risks you will take when you
retire, your knuckles stilled against
  a perfect machine, supple,
aloof, dignified. Accolades 
  are always shared: yours defend
the paradox of music
  and silence, the score of a grave
like a muse you must master.

[The Fiddlehead No. 187, Spring 1996]

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