Stephen Loomes


Johann Sebastian Bach

On 21st March 1685
In Germany at Eisenach
Elizabeth and Johann had a son
They named Johann Sebastian Bach
His family tree flowered 38 musicians
All talented, but Sebastian was the one
Whom Schumann said is owed by music
What religion owes to Christ in heaven
When young, his father taught him
His mother died when he was seven
When he was eight, next, his father fell
So he went to live with his older brother
Johann Christoph, who gave him lessons
Which he had learned from Pachebel
No sooner had he learned a piece
Than he would ask Christoph for another
At fifteen he went to Luneberg
To St. Michael’s school as a chorister
He’d walk 30 miles to Hamburg
To hear Reinken and the Opera
One night without a penny
Tardily, for the walk home preparing
When from a window high above
someone threw out a herring
Starving he picked it up, for something to eat
And in its flesh were two gold coins
So he walked on down the street
And that money was a blessing
He not only bought a meal just then
But it gave him the resources
To go back to Hamburg for concerts again.

At eighteen he was a master of the organ
And also the violin, and so his fame began
He was appointed organist at Armstadt
A master of composition, and only a young man
The music from him flowed, but beyond the Church
Little of his work was known, and on his death
A few cantatas by his followers were published
And little else was known, it seemed the fashion
Had moved on, and his treasures almost vanished
Yet fifty years later in Vienna, Mozart heard
And started playing Bach’s motets
About tbe world of music went around the word
So Johann’s legacy was restored
Published far and wide,
And orchestras across the globe
Now play his work with pride
I love the Brandenburg Concertos
Opening with the violins playing the theme
Then the subtle figure of the oboe
The bass line joins the scheme
As the music transcends language
And soars as a beatific hymn
And everyone can share the joy
This music brings within.

Submitted: Monday, September 09, 2013
Edited: Thursday, September 12, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Just listen to his music.

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