Sunday, June 28, 2009

George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower (1780-1860)

Cambridge, Great St. Mary's Church

I kneel, but not in sufferance,
not in faith. There is a fulcrum
beyond which the bow tip wobbles;

no ardency nor forceful wrist
can make it sing. I am there,
at wit's balancing point. Music

pours through the blackened nave,
hollowing my bones to fit
the space it needs. It needs

so much of me, the soul's
wicked cartridge emptying
as fast as it fills. I kneel

because even the reed bends
before God's laughter
splits it, and the storm

moves on.

~ Rita Dove, Sonata Mulattica

Violin by Peter Considine


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