Thursday, August 06, 2009

Parenthetically, but gratefully -

Before I start writing my Theme Thursday post, I would like to reproduce the poem I talked about yesterday, the one that took me on a sentimental journey. I wasn't sure about the legality of lifting poems from Rattle magazine, so I used a brief quote and a link. Meanwhile, I e-mailed Tim Green. Tim referred me, in turn, to the poet, David Lee Garrison, who kindly gave me his permission - so here it is, for posterity (because my memory isn't what it used to be, and tracking it down at a later date might be problematic).

Bach in the D.C. Subway

by David Lee Garrison

As an experiment,
the Washington Post
asked a concert violinist—
wearing jeans, tennis shoes,
and a baseball cap—
to stand near a trash can
at rush hour in the subway
and play Bach
on a Stradivarius.
Partita No. 2 in D Minor
called out to commuters
like an ocean to waves,
sung to the station
about why we should bother
to live.
A thousand people
streamed by. Seven of them
paused for a minute or so
and thirty-two dollars floated
into the open violin case.
A café hostess who drifted
over to the open door
each time she was free
said later that Bach
gave her peace,
and all the children,
all of them,
waded into the music
as if it were water,
listening until they had to be
rescued by parents
who had somewhere else to go.

Reproduced by permission of the author.

1 comment:

John Hayes said...

That was very cool of both Rattle & Mr Garrison. It's a good poem!

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