Paul Hansford

Words And Music (Sestina) - Poem by Paul Hansford

If I could go beyond time,
And life be transformed into music;
If all that is subject to change
Could be fixed into an intricate pattern;
And what is expressed in words
Distilled into pure sense,

Perhaps what we experience in the physical sense
Could be extended to infinite time.
Then what we now perceive as words,
And what we think of as music,
Would all be part of the same pattern,
And things would not always have to change.

But if nothing were ever to change
Can we be sure it would all make sense?
Our life is part of a pattern,
But a pattern that is lived in time.
The emotions inspired by music
Have to be forced to fit into words,

And when I communicate my feelings to you, my words,
And your understanding of them, are liable to change.
When I hear what is deep in the heart of the music
It speaks directly to my sense.
Though I may interpret it differently each time,
The rhythm, the melody, the harmony form a pattern.

Then, as I struggle to set down that pattern
In what I know must be inadequate words,
Sometimes I feel the echo of a time
Before I was aware of life’s continual change.
Yes, I can be transported, in a sense,
To a time or a place recreated in the music.

Trumpet, organ, or seven-stringed lute recreate the music
That existed first only as a pattern
In the mind of one who could give it sense.
Thus in my own way I search for the words
To express myself in a way that will not change,
So that this much of what I have felt may go on through time.

And if I can make the music ring in the words,
If I can weave my thoughts into a pattern that may resist change,
Then, but only in that sense, maybe then I can go beyond time.

Listen to this poem:

Comments about Words And Music (Sestina) by Paul Hansford

  • Susan Jarvis (5/26/2008 4:03:00 PM)

    Bravo! This elaborate and complex form is given the natural air of conversation. Yet the lyrical persona shines through in such lines as; 'The rhythm, the melody, the harmony...' The allusions to time and movement remind me of the philosophies of Eliot. An eviable creation. S :) (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 1 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Poem Submitted: Sunday, May 25, 2008

Poem Edited: Wednesday, April 29, 2009

[Report Error]