Spring Sonata

for Susan Keser

There was a moment in my early teens,
a meeting of two instruments, where I
took heed, and overheard a certain clamour
of the wild springtime, that forever finds
a space for Eden’s miracle of voices
within my own blind heart and deepest being.
It was the first coup of classical music
in my small kingdom. Later, I would spend
fifty years dabbing at the piano,
and always thought, in between the laboured pieces
I thumbed my way through, learnt, re-learnt, forgot –
that one day I might play the Spring Sonata
with a violinist, and together catch
that waterfall of light, pure formula
of seed-time. What precision, and what chance
might I be part of, as a sharp echoing force
gave with a loveliness and resistless ease
the shock of Spring! But yet I always knew
the part to be beyond my power. And now
the tears spring to my face in Central Park,
as with a simple grace a lady plays
the violin. As I nod to the notes
of a taped piano, with an austere exactness
she breathes a sweetness into the late morning,
and a dialogue takes place again. I am there,
so many years back, so many lifetimes
onward. After the 78 rpm
unlocked its gleaming gift, no new rehearsal
of the old notes touched me as deep again,
nor did I ever find that true recording,
to come to the discovery once more.
She plays. A weeping man in his late sixties
takes note of a surging-up of the Spring season,
as he meets Beethoven a second time.

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