Thursday, April 11, 2013

Mozart, 1935 - A beautiful poem by Wallace Stevens

The following poem is about karma. Karma in this case is playing the piano. About doing your karma, no matter what the current circumstances are. It echoes the sentiments of "Walk Alone" by Rabindranath Tagore, and "Let me have the courage to fight" by Guru Gobind Singh, and the key message from the Bhagwad Gita. Keep singing, no matter what the circumstances!

Mozart, 1935
by Wallace Stevens

Poet, be seated at the piano.
Play the present, its hoo-hoo-hoo,
Its shoo-shoo-shoo, its ric-a-nic,
Its envious cachinnation.

If they throw stones upon the roof
While you practice arpeggios,
It is because they carry down the stairs
A body in rags.
Be seated at the piano.

That lucid souvenir of the past,
The divertimento;
That airy dream of the future,
The unclouded concerto . . .
The snow is falling.
Strike the piercing chord.

Be thou the voice,
Not you. Be thou, be thou
The voice of angry fear,
The voice of this besieging pain.

Be thou that wintry sound
As of a great wind howling,
By which sorrow is released,
Dismissed, absolved
In a starry placating.

We may return to Mozart.
He was young, and we, we are old.
The snow is falling
And the streets are full of cries.
Be seated, thou.