..... poetry .....




I admit,
   I bought the lie,
   told to every music student
   far and wide. 

That you were but 
   a footnote, 
   a poor imitation, 
   a mere shadow of your father, 

Johann Sebastian Bach. 

   then embarrassed, 
   then excited again, 
That my ears could hear
   such utterly 
   Personal Music. 
Trained by, 
   but not ruled by, 
Papa Bach. 

Yours is filled with such
   dramatic line, 
   harmonic surprise, 
   and silence,
That is Utterly Personal, 
   and Forever Young. 
Though your hundreds of works
   are wonderfully complete, 
   you never hid behind
   thickly, omnipresent counterpoint,
For your music is truly 

Inviting the listener
   to view the scenes
   before your eyes
   with wonder
   and wonderful surprise. 

Did your training to become a lawyer
   embolden you, 
   to take such risks?
We'll never really know . . .

Of course, 
   you smiled as you watched the 
   Next Generation stars — 
   Wolfie and Ludwig — 
   gleaning from your genius. 

But since you wrote 
   for both the music box & music clock,
   I suspect that you 
   danced a gigue
   when you saw our modern ocean liner
   of a nine-foot concert grand piano 
Played with a pair of elbows,
   bowed with fishing wire, and 
   prepared with jewelry and eraser heads
   on the very strings themselves!  

Or better yet, I just know that you 
   clapped your hands in glee
   when you beheld our  
   wah-wah pedal,
   digital loop station, and
   MIDI-controlled body suit. 

Rest assured, my Friend, 
   more and more of us are experiencing your 
   and silence-filled 

That is Utterly Personal, 
   and Forever Young. 


September 2018




©2018, Michael Smolens