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Next Issue Peter Scupham at 85: a celebration Contributions by Anne Stevenson, Robert Wells, Peter Davidson, Lawrence Sail

This poem is taken from PN Review 71, Volume 16 Number 3, January - February 1990.

Elegy Anne Stevenson

Whenever my father was left with nothing to do -
  waiting for someone to 'get ready',
or facing the gap between graduate seminars
  and dull after-suppers in his study
grading papers or writing a review -
  he played the piano.

I think of him packing his lifespan
  carefully, like a good leather briefcase,
each irritating chore wrapped in floating passages
  for the left hand and right hand
by Chopin or difficult Schumann;
  nothing inside it ever rattled loose.

Not rationalism, though you could cut your tongue
  on the blade of his reasonable logic.
Only at the piano did he become
  the bowed, reverent, wholly absorbed Romantic.
...


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