Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Renaissance Family

The Strange Music
G. K. Chesterton
Other loves may sink and settle, other loves may loose and slack,
But I wander like a minstrel with a harp upon his back,
Though the harp be on my bosom, though I finger and I fret,
Still, my hope is all before me: for I cannot play it yet.

In your strings is hid a music that no hand hath e'er let fall,
In your soul is sealed a pleasure that you have not known at all;
Pleasure subtle as your spirit, strange and slender as your frame,
Fiercer than the pain that folds you, softer than your sorrow's name.

Not as mine, my soul's annointed, not as mine the rude and light
Easy mirth of many faces, swaggering pride of song and fight;
Something stranger, something sweeter, something waiting you afar,
Secret as your stricken senses, magic as your sorrows are.

But on this, God's harp supernal, stretched but to be stricken once,
Hoary time is a beginner, Life a bungler, Death a dunce.
But I will not fear to match them-no, by God, I will not fear,
I will learn you, I will play you and the stars stand still to hear.


Piano practice is coming along quite nicely. A few rondos rattle around in my head all day. I hum some Edna Mae* drills while buzzing about the kitchen. One of the sweetest sounds on earth is that of your child playing a musical instrument I reckon.  Even the simplest of tunes played faultingly makes me beam with pride. The neighbours may not agree, but to me it is a joyful noise.  With the exception of 'The Entertainer' which is cringe-worthy and so not in keeping with our Renaissance family ideals.  How did that get on the program?

Image 1: Madonna and Child with saints and donors by Gerolamo Giovenone, 1527.
From the Italian Renaissance exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

Image 2: Edna Mae Burnam* (1907-2007) Dozen a Day series for piano.


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