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This poem is taken from PN Review 222, Volume 41 Number 4, March - April 2015.

Two Poems Anne Stevenson
Improvisation

In memory of Bernard Roberts, pianist, 1933–2013

A house of fantasy, a house of music
Grounded in time and built of trembling air,
A lofty many-sided School of Listening
Where players in the rooms above can hear
The music rising from the rooms below,
But those below hear nothing from above.
So, Bach, still counterpointing the foundation,  
Is banned by a flight of years from hearing Mozart,
And Mozart, for all his gifts, stays locked behind
The singing pillars of his classic forms
As deaf to Beethoven’s transcendent range
As Beethoven to Schubert, close yet far.
So Brahms, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Debussy
Soar up among the few still listened to,
...


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