gershon hepner

Rookie - 10 Points (5 3 38 / leipzig)

Not Communicating To Oneself - Poem by gershon hepner

Listening to Beethoven we sense
the inspiration pouring from the master.
Johann Sebastian Bach sounds as intense,
but far more distant from disaster.
He seems to want to have a conversation
with anyone prepared to pay attention.
Although we lose him when his great elation
exceeds the limits of our comprehension,
we know that he is trying to communicate,
as if he’d just found, lying on a shelf,
the notes he’s trying to communicate
to us, and not, like Ludwig, to himself.
The proofs of Beethoven’s profundity
lay in the notes that for him had no sound,
while Bach, with effortless fecundity,
encouraged all of us to be profound.

J. M. Coetzee contrasts his relationship to the music of Beethoven and J. S. Bach. Whereas he imagines Beethoven as a genius from whom inspiration pours forth while oblivious to the people who may be listening to him he imagines J. S. Bach as a teacher who is attempting to instruct him while he sits next him while he is playing. As a rider, Coetzee added that there are moments when J. S. Bach’s inspiration exceeds the listener’s comprehension. These are the moments of his greatest inspiration. Listening to this report I was reminded of Richard Eder’s comment on Ceotzee when reviewing his book “Diary of a Bad Year” (“A Writer, A Muse, Their Laundry, ” NYT, January 1,2008) :
I think of the childlike simplicity of late Beethoven on a profound return trip from profundity.”


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, October 7, 2008

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