Historians musicians and present-day otologists
continue to speculate why Beethoven went deaf
and marvel that he was able to compose the Ninth and Ode to Joy.
I remember studying Eliot’s poetry,
reading how he thought Beethoven’s quartets
were meant to be audited, in depth, later in life.
They affected Eliot deeply, changed his spirituality.
I thought I might wait ’til I was mature to be enriched
by the string quartets; but when I reached that accepted stage,
I was still listening to his symphonies; trying to play his sonatas.
I now know I am never going to play the Apassionata as it
requires two hands to play four hands’ worth of notes.
I manage to acceptably play the Moonlight, and with patience
deliver the Pathétique. That brings me to the present, a time
in life most would say is past being simply “mature”.
Nevertheless, this week I downloaded his sixteen quartets.
I determined that I better get started understanding them.
Though I wonder if I haven’t waited too late for spiritual
and poetic enrichment because I, too, am going deaf.
I may not have time to absorb their spiritual depth
and be transformed into a poet of deeper meaning and merit.
But I shall try…as long as I can hear at all…I shall try.Not sure this qualifies as a poem, but it is about another sense besides sight. I dread going any more deaf. For now it’s low voices and low noises I’m missing but it is continuing and not much can be done my doctor says. In response to Brian’s request for poetry without images today..using other senses. © Gay Reiser Cannon * 3.13.14