16 Jul 2014

Poem of the Week: The Pianist

It is time for the Poem of the Week, and this time it’s another poem that was initially submitted to a literary magazine (of which I have made enough mention in the previous poem of the week).

This particular poem is called the Pianist: it’s cute, light, and has some nice metaphors. It isn’t my best poem by any means—most of my best have been submitted to the Foyle poetry competition, and are rather more dark on the whole—but I think it a pleasant read all the same. (Please tell me if this is not the case. Alex is not very good at ascertaining the merits of his own work; a curse bequeathed to all writers. Oooh, I’m starting to sound all weird and literary, now aren’t I?)

As part of my new strategy, I have decided to structure these analyses (is that the right word?) in the following format: weird quotes at the beginning; weirder analysis thereafter; and weirdest poem at end.

(Tsck tsck. I’ve used that word too often now—I’ll have to start using pseudo-synonyms like ‘strange’ and ‘odd’, which so don’t sound the same. Poor me. Poor writers.)

Weird Quotes

The Pianist
Is lost in the tones
Of his own melody.

—Quote I.

For no ordinary person
Can instil such
Emotion.

—Quote II.

All the sounds of music:
A song to the unheard listener.

—Quote III. (You getting the gist of this?)

He smiles: a quirk of a mouth
That has known humanity.
But he does not know all;
That is reserved
For my kiss.

—Quote…

(I would put more, but my weary bones tire from all this typing; and besides, to do so would make this a turgid piece, which would bore you. I think. Although some of you read the so-called ‘Classics’ willingly, so who knows?)

Weirder Analysis

Let’s start with Quote I, strangely enough. (You noticed I didn’t use weird this time. You clever devil!)

Now, we are told—quite didactically, I admit—that the Pianist is lost in the tones of his own melody. This is important: it suggests that art is something in which you can forget about the world—about your worries, your fears, and even who you are. You can become a being ensnared by the magic of art; forever living in the moment, and forever subject to the most fickle of emotional changes.

And once you’ve read the poem (which you will do, I’m sure—I don’t write these for nothing, ya know) you’ll see quite a few of these emotional changes. Art is not in stasis; even paintings have the suggestion of change—the idea that this is only a snapshot of a world, and that it is not a whole representation. (Though paintings do have with them other advantages, which I shall mention in my upcoming essay.)

In any case: you can forget about yourself in art.

The next selected quote (Quote II, under the Roman system), reveals something special about the artist himself: that he—and all others of his type—are able to instil their feelings to their audience, in a way ordinary people cannot. Basically, artists are not the same as everyone else; and by implication, therefore, art is not a learned skill.

The third quote is little off-on-a-tangent (I do love going on tangents) but it reveals that much art goes unheard, unseen and unfelt. This is not entirely without reason: published art assumes that it can be critiqued, and not all art is that great (sadly). Of course, the debate is rather more complex and multi-faceted than that—hence why I shall be discussing it in my upcoming essay.

(‘Boy, he’s really doing our head in with that essay of his,’ I bet you’re thinking.)

The final quote is also very interesting. (If you happen to be a bod like me.) The fact that he’s known humanity—through art—shows that art is perhaps… a reflection, of human emotion. And in a way, it is; and another, it’s so much more. You can guess this one: to be talked of in my essay…

(‘Oh Alex!’ you wail. Patience, my dear; patience is a powerful virtue. It also means I can keep you coming back for more. Aren’t I just so clever?)

The final line suggests that one must experience certain things to truly capture them; but yet, I do believe you can gain a great deal of understanding about a phenomena even if you have never known it: that is the power of art.

Stay tuned for that essay of mine…

Alex!

Oh, yes. Here’s the weirdest poem:

View Weird Poem on Google Drive

PS: This was written in and uploaded with StackEdit—if you are of a literary disposition, you should definitely check it out.

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