Bach makes the frame. All out. All in.
In fact, he doesn’t sketch at all –
he makes the rules. He is not
composing the Well Tempered Clavichord –
he is writing equations, sequences,
occasions, dazzling sequins that define
the fashion, the millinery, the mannequin
forever.
He is the triumph of what will come
without showing a stitch.
We ache for melody so much
we cannot help but sing Ave Maria
as if it weren’t already there;
each prelude, each fugue,
tempts us to burst into song
as another lesson plays on.

<this begins the last section of my book Numbers & Piano. Ten poems for poets of the piano. Ten you say? How odd.>

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