Friday, April 29, 2011

To an Unknown Concertgoer

Today's poem is also based on a true event. At the March 2010 concert, someone in the audience was so struck by the soloist's performance of the Sibelius Violin Concerto in D Minor that he called out the moment she lifted her bow off the strings. Clearly the concertgoer was deeply moved by the performance he had just witnessed. A few weeks later, in rehashing the concert with another attendee, I mentioned that moment in reference to the virtuosity of the performer. The woman with whom I was talking pursed her mouth sharply and made the comment captured in the poem.

Over a year later, I still find myself reliving that moment. The air was still vibrating and someone in the audience could no longer hold in his emotion over what he had just experienced. I'm glad he couldn't.


To the Unknown Concertgoer

There are those who attend to concerts with precision:
Never clapping out of turn or being the first to rise in appreciation.
And, heavens, no shouting "Bravo!"

He was not one of them.

When the last note of the violin concerto was played, he cried out
The moment the soloist lifted her bow in completion
And there was that half beat of silence
Before the conductor lowered his baton.

We could all hear his call, like a mourning dove up in the dome of the hall,
An aching, yearning "ahhh" that he had to release.
It hung in the air just before the wave of applause broke.

A patron pulled her mouth tight recounting the moment.
"Well, clearly that was not someone
Who has been to concerts frequently enough
To know how to behave."

I wish I had been that listener in the audience
    Crying out in appreciation
    Crying out at music so moving that it would break the heart to keep silent.

I wish I had been the one to not behave so beautifully.


Sharon said...

This made me smile. And, by the way, I agree with your take on the situation! :)!

see you there! said...

I wonder what the artist thought. I agree, how can joy expressed ever be inappropriate?