16 December 2020 (draft 1)

by Leonard M Hawkes

How many times,
Or with how many I have shared it?
I do not know,
But the numbers
Only seem to make the Joy tonight seem greater.

I know this music.

No, not as a musician would know it,
But my heart knows it:
My ear perceives
And my spirit responds
Much like it would
To the presence of an old friend,
Or yes, to the sight of a place now decades loved.

It is not mere chance
That in this night of cold December,
Warm by my own fireside,
I sit with visual art of the Tetons in my hands,
And the glory of your 9th
Pulsating in my ear.
That God who gave this symphony to you
Has given to me the necessary gifts
To love it (even the German to understand its benediction).
Here in this western mountain land,
A wilderness barely known to you and your world,
Yet you give voice unto these very granite peaks
And a common self-same fire
To burn within my soul.

Thank you, O my brother Ludwig van,
And may this Joy eternal be ever yours.


Author's Note: On listening to Beethoven's 9th Symphony on the night of his 250th birthday.

Posted on 12/17/2020
Copyright © 2021 Leonard M Hawkes

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