Poem for Chopin

Written by Stephen Lay.

His conversations are a thousand letters fashioned,

Each their own message, each a deep well of passion

And feeling, only waiting to be opened and read.

Meaning exchanged both ways, unspoken and said

His overtures penned, and his responses pre-recorded

But entirely sincere, when by my touch they’re ordered.

Though another may revel in his storytelling tones,

This account, in this place, is to me and me alone.

A dance between us, him taking the lead,

My hands following in trust, delicate as to heed

His plaintive message in the spirit it was commanded

A trance, brief but all-consuming, sung two-handed

An impression of his heart, so eloquently expressed

Through unassuming dashes on canvas that does attest

To the tone of his voice, and the story told so sure

And definite in its beauty, then sorrowful and raw

That ‘poet of the piano’ is a title befitting,

Daring cadences unresolved, at odd ends sitting,

Intimate in texture, free from strict rhythmic mould,

Firm but graceful, like a waltzing couple’s hold

Of each other as they sway and trill across

The ivory ballroom, in a hall of dark wood gloss

Tinkling lights on high, of a lover’s chandelier

By the reverence of his pen, expressed so dear,

Not an orchestra for the masterpiece he pens,

But one heart, two limbs, and five artists at each end,

That was ripped from his body on its cadence plagal,

Implanted in me but briefly, to tell a private fable

Of such fervour that unbridled in stave puts prose

Or verse to shame. Indeed, no attempt goes

Unashamed in its inadequacy to inscribe by hand,

The expressions of Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin.

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