La luxure et l’avarice – Auguste Rodin (CC-BY)

These sounds of his dead world resurrected
reflect his older voice, a settling of some score

between Classical and Romantic, commoner
and nobility. Remnants of an Age, notated on

a parchment page: its days and nights, its numbered
dawns, its concert halls and Viennese salons.

Compositions from a mind, mathematics of discordant
life, transcriptions of youth’s fraught emotions.

How intricate to think two-hundred years or more,
these chromatic harmonies, began as nothing more

than idle thought and late remembrances of an aging
deaf man; forced to be, like Mozart, a prodigy; conjuring

up his harsh and tearful tutored past, his thwarted loves,
his always common status, pianist from the lower class;

the drunken father, the penury, the extreme dynamic
tempi, his over-the-top expression; sonatas in four

movements, not in three; music wrought from his body’s own
corruption, filth and ill-reputed disease; by cruel advancing age,

by love and sex and all of flesh’s necessities: food and shelter;
patronage from wealth; now conjured by the motions of this baton

that draws his breath out of the grave; to speak again of life,
of human life, from early fervent faith to final fatal rage.