The Pianist and The Poet
Seymour Bernstein barely blinks
when he talks, his eyes as at ease
in the light of the world as his hands,
poised over the keys when he asks
us to mark how the note hovers
in air after it’s struck so that even
its final hush finds accord. He touches
his student’s arm with a gentle continuum,
in perfect concordance, urges her heart
closer to Bach, reminds her to listen,
to breathe, like my poet friend Amy
says in a poem: “Listen. The high kiss
of finch grabs a thread of air.”
This is a transport, rapid as half of a breath
“as if ears were satellite dishes on stems”.
She teaches too and waits as long as it takes
for her students to hear. She knows
what that means, how it helps to blend
the word and the sound of the word
so the ear and the brain work together.
“These tiniest bones hear us think.”
Yes, listen to the hush that carries the sound.
Editor's note: This poem was inspired by Ethan Hawke’s documentary about Seymour Bernstein, Seymour—An Introduction, and Amy Young’s poem “Ossicles.” Scroll below to read Amy's poem.
The Ekphrastic Review was absolutely delighted to hear from Amy Young, who generously agreed to share her poem, too, as well as from Seymour Bernstein, the subject of Judith Bowles' poem and the documentary movie by Ethan Hawke.
Judith Bowles lives, writes and gardens in Washington D. C. She has an MFA from the American University in short fiction and taught creative writing there. Two of her stories were selected for the Pen Syndicated Fiction Project. Her poems have been published in The Delmarva Review, The Innisfree Journal of Poetry, and Gargoyle. Her book, The Gatherer, was published by WordTech Communication’s Turning Point in November of 2014.
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