Philip Dacey, Triolet: A Juilliard Pianist

Philip Dacey

She sits as if before the stillest lake.
Such lack of motion is a form of love.
We know she’s thinking hard of what’s at stake
in casting notes like stones into the lake–
a silence to improve upon, not simply break.
It’s moving, how she takes her time to move.
She sits as if before the stillest lake.
Such lack of motion is a form of love.

Author’s Comment: Living on Manhattan’s Upper West Side from 2004 to 2012, I became what I call a Juilliard junkie, attending student recitals several times a week. The commitment, hard work, and ability of the students never failed to impress me. This poem tries to capture some of what I found there, perhaps best summed up by the word “seriousness.” The silences just before a performer begins and just after the music
concludes are equivalent to a vestibule leading to and from a sacred space.

Bio: Philip Dacey, the author of eleven books, most recently Mosquito Operas: New and Selected Short Poems (Rain Mountain Press, 2010) and Vertebrae Rosaries: 50 Sonnets (Red Dragonfly Press, 2009), has won three Pushcart Prizes and written entire collections of poems about Gerard Manley Hopkins, Thomas Eakins, and New York City. His twelfth, Gimme Five, won the 2012 Blue Light Press Book Award and will appear in 2013.

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