many classical musicians regard a score
more through their hands (as instrumentalists)
or the eye, according to the sheet (as composers)
or even the mouth (as singers)
than through the ear, much less the heart.

in that light, Beethoven’s mastery in deafness
should appear no miracle

unlike Charles Ives, off-limits
when the circle needed completion
– without the ripple of applause or engagement
or critical test of application –
only the stone-dead silence of scorn or indifference

let us touch, then, releasing these birds
from rows of ink on a page
as if this were another spring morning

Poem copyright 2016 by Jnana Hodson
To see the full set, click here.

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