MUSIC HOLDS THE KEY
(for Douglas Munn, mathematician, composer, and pianist)Debussy's Jardins sous la pluie,
Played by my teenage brother,
Falls into earliest memory in a
Downpour of enchanted notes
That have reverberated a lifetime.
Later, that household god, Beethoven,
Glowers down on his Scots disciple
From a suitably Teutonic Bluthner piano,
As the Hammerclavier, with its vast elemental
Energies, drives to distraction those who
Overhear the adult man's relentless practising.
Then the ultimate peak, Opus 111,
Sonata beyond nickname, harnessing the
Heroic masculinity of the opening movement
To the Arietta: sublime timelessness jolted
Into syncopation and final, trilled, resolution.
Chopin's Ballades, Berceuse, Barcarolle (so many Bs)
Cascade through childhood recollections
Of weekend visitors, Scotch high teas,
And walks by the Firth of Clyde.
Waves of music; waves of memory.