Music. By Amy Lowell. From the collection Music's Spell, published by Knopf, Everyman's Library. Editor Emily Fragos.
The first stanza conjures lovely three dimensional images ("the round notes flutter and tap about the room, And hit against each other") for the music of the flutist. The second stanza is a sharp contrast from the first, the all too human imperfection behind the music. The third returns with even more romantic images inspired by the flute music.
The neighbor sits in his window and plays the flute.
From my bed I can hear him,
And the round notes flutter and tap about the room,
And hit against each other,
Blurring to unexpected chords.
It is very beautiful,
With the little flute-notes all about me,
In the darkness.
In the daytime,
The neighbor eats bread and onions with one hand
And copies music with the other.
He is fat and has a bald head,
So I do not look at him,
But run quickly past his window.
There is always the sky to look at,
Or the water in the well!
Buy when night comes and he plays the flute,
I think of him as a young man,
With gold seals hanging from his watch,
And a blue coat with silver buttons.
As I lie in my bed
The flute-notes push against my ears and lips,
And I go to sleep, dreaming.