By Philip Dacey, Gigue: Upon Learning Bach's Birthday Falls on the First Day of Spring, from the collection Northern Music: poems inspired by and about Glenn Gould.
The sun comes up, then another,
and another--today, a fugue courtesy of nature.
Ice melts off my roof, note by note
caught in the well-tempered light.
A treeful of noisy birds gives my tan cat a
wake-up shot like a coffee cantata
As low, dark tones from a cello suite spread
out and soften frozen earth into mud;
One last mound of snow glistens in so divine a
thaw it must be the yielding bosom of Anna Magdalena.
And now the western wind picks up--
in Leipzig, a sure hand's pulled out all the stops.
Moving clouds pluck at a bare oak;
I cross my yard to lute music
just before last year's willow leaves turn into Glenn
Gould's fingers and race through an invention.
Even the tiniest lilac bud has something big
to teach the good student Goldberg,
who's quick to inhale the orchestrated spring,
its scented and sight-read air for G-string.
Geese in vees aren't honking they're back
but swelling a chant: "Bach, Bach, Bach."