(If you do not see a RENEW button, please select a plan
and enter any code you may have received in a renewal notice online or in print.)
If you have ANY questions at all, please contact support@claviercompanion.com
2 minutes reading time (396 words)

November/December 2018: Poetry Corner

Contributing Editor, Richard Zimdars
Poem by Howard Nemerov

Lines & Circularities
On hearing Casals' recording of the Sixth Suite

Deep in a time that cannot come again
Bach thought it through, this lonely and immense
Reflexion wherein our sorrows learn to dance.
And deep in the time that cannot come again
Casals recorded it. Playing it back,
And bending now over the instrument,
I watch the circling stillness of the disc,
The tracking inward of the tone-arm, enact
A mystery wherein the music shares:
How time, that comes and goes and vanishes
Never to come again, can come again.

How many silly miracles there are
That will not save us, neither will they save
The world, and yet they are miraculous:
The tone-arm following the spiral path
While moving inward on a shallow arc,
Making the music that companions it
Through winding ways to silence at the close;
The delicate needle that navigates these canyons
By contact with the edges, not the floor;
Black plastic that has memorized and kept
In its small plastic striations whatever it was told
By the master's mind and hand and bow and box,
Making such definite shudderings in the air
That Bach's intent arises from the tomb . . .
The Earth, that spins around upon herself
In the simple composition of Light and Dark,
And varying her distance on the Sun
Makes up the Seasons and the Years, and Time
Itself, whereof the angels make record;
The Sun, swinging his several satellites
Around himself and slowly round the cast
Galactic rim and out to the unknown
Past Vega at the apex of his path;
And all this in the inward of the mind,
Where the great cantor sings his songs to God . . .

The music dances to its inner edge
And stops. The tone-arm lifts and cocks its head
An instant, as if listening for something
That is no longer there but might be; then
Returns to rest, as with a definite click
The whole strange business turns itself off.

Bio: Howard Nemerov (1920-1991) was an American poet, teacher, and pilot in WW II. His Collected Poems received the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. He was poet laureate of the United States from 1988 to 1990. 

Credits: "Lines and Circularities" from The Collected Poems of Howard Nemerov (University of Chicago Press, 1981) is reprinted with permission of the estate of Howard Nemerov. 

You have to be a member to access this content.

Please login and subscribe to a plan if you have not done so.

Libib Cataloging Service: Online Tool for the Pian...
Two Pianists in Time of War
 

Comments

Already Registered? Login Here
No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.ClavierCompanion.com/

About Piano Magazine

Piano Magazine is the leading resource for pianists, piano teachers, and piano enthusiasts. We bring you informative, interesting, and inspiring ideas on all aspects of piano teaching, learning, and performing. The official name of Clavier Companion magazine was changed to Piano Magazine in 2019.

Follow us on

Terms of use

Have Questions?

We are happy to help.

Editorial questions? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Advertising questions? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Subscription questions? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Technical questions? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Cron Job Starts