Wallace Stevens

"Mozart, 1935"

Poet, be seated at the piano
Play the present, its hoo-hoo-hoo
Its shoo-shoo-shoo, its ric-a-nic
Its envious cachinnation

If they throw stones upon the roof
While you practice arpeggios
It is because they carry down the stairs
A body in rags
Be seated at the piano

That lucid souvenir of the past
The divertimento;
That airy dream of the future
The unclouded concerto . .
The snow is falling
Strike the piercing chord

Be thou the voice
Not you. Be thou, be thou
The voice of angry fear
The voice of this besieging pain

Be thou that wintry sound
As of a great wind howling
By which sorrow is released
Dismissed, absolved
In a starry placating

We may return to Mozart
He was young, and we, we are old
The snow is falling
And the streets are full of cries
Be seated, thou

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