SONATA

Beethoven-on-pianoEvening. The wind rising.
The gathering excitement
of the leaves, and Beethoven
on the piano, chords reverberating
in our twin being.
‘What is life?’
pitifully her eyes
asked. And I who was no seer
took hold of her loth hand
and examined it and was lost
like a pure mathematician
in its solution: strokes
cancelling strokes: angles
bisected; the line of life deviating
from the line of the head; a way
that was laid down for her to walk
which was not my way.
While the music
went on and on with chromatic
insistence, passionately proclaiming
by the keys’ moonlight in the darkening
drawing-room how art is our meaning.

~ R.S. Thomas, Collected Poems 1945 – 1990

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