Another composer


Hard to imagine how he daily let
his work be ordered. ‘Write a puppet show
with parts for two sopranos. Nothing slow
– some of your dances, not a minuet

-yours are too stately. Some quick peasant dance
with lots of stamping. Like those symphonies
you wrote for me last week.’ Esterhazy’s
not the worst master. When he gets the chance,

he’ll write another string quartet, to take,
play with friends in Vienna, or a mass,
with drums and trumpets. And perhaps that lass,
Mozart’s young wife could sing it. Hearts will break

at ‘dona nobis pacem’ if she’ll sing.
Then Haydn runs; he’s heard his master ring.


About rozkaveney

Middleaged, trans, novelist, poet, activist
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2 Responses to Another composer

  1. gwynnega says:

    This is wonderful.

  2. calimac says:

    I think it’s impressive how much Haydn was able to follow his own, sometimes rather willful, muse in these circumstances. Other composers had more trouble. Bach, now …

    Charming poem, though. How many poems about Haydn are there, anyway, that aren’t by Sigmund Spaeth?

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