Music For Four Hands / Variations On A Theme Of Rilke


. . . for my mother




Always the piano had been there, for her

To play and then when he was six for him

To learn, listening to what she made of

The strange papers, turning the pages

When she nodded, watching her hands,

The notes and later the spaces between them

That he came to understand were music too,

And as his hands and his love of her grew

He followed her more closely across the keys,

Again and again, day after day, reaching

Always a little farther into the flat expanse

Of the whites and the ridges of the blacks,

And almost without his knowing and always

Without either of them speaking of it they

Were no longer teacher and pupil but equally

Mother and son and musician, until in her years

The notes became passages beyond her reaching,

As though she had come then to the edge of a far

And fallow field, drifts of snow and black stones.  

Poetry by countryfog
Read 800 times
star mini Editors' choice
Written on 2014-03-07 at 14:09

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This is nice

Editorial Team The PoetBay support member heart!
This text has been chosen to be featured on the home page of PoetBay. Thank you for posting it on our poetry website.

Purple Phoenix
This is beautiful.... my son and I play different instruments but we equally share a love of music that has grown as we have. I really enjoyed this write. :)

Ivan R
So tender, so warm, every syllable a tear
love, secrets, hands speaking

I have not read a poem this beautiful in a long time,
makes me think of how strange and how great the human connection is, and with the music as bridge ...
what a great story.

Your title , "Music for Four Hands" says it all, you have music, relationships and the circle of lives captured beautifully.

Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
This is a graceful, lovely poem, Fog. For the record, though, my mother still is alive, and I find her very annoying.

Ashe The PoetBay support member heart!
This is so beautiful and it brings back so many memories when I also sat on my grandmother's lap until the notes became familiar and welcomed friends. Thank you for sharing this piece. :)

Elle The PoetBay support member heart!
I come from a musical family, really had no choice but to pursue it myself - my greatest pleasures was with my sons on wet afternoons playing the piano, singing with them - those memories stay, I hope the next generation will have those too

Elle x

josephus The PoetBay support member heart!
My father was a classically trained pianist. He had no patience for teaching a small boy who saw him as a hero. As an adolescent I chose to study the piano and so was self taught with all the attendant limitations.. To this day when I play it is with the certain understanding that Dad is listening.

Rob Graber
This puts a lump in my throat. My mother's efforts, against which I struggled as a little boy, managed to establish that early connection between eye, ear, and hand that have made playing classical guitar among the few deep and dependable pleasures of life.