Through Ivory Keys

I took about 10 years of piano lessons. I never got very good at it, mostly because I hated actual practice, but I still love playing. I got a good keyboard several years ago, and while I don’t play often, there are a few pieces I pull out periodically. Some stuff from Phantom of the Opera. Pachelbel’s Canon. A few songs from video games. I make tons of mistakes and will probably never perform again, but it’s soothing when I think to do it.

I don’t know how I feel about this particular poem. I like the phrasings and the overall idea—piano as a metaphor for a romantic relationship and the solitude of practice vs. performance—but I’m not quite sure it works.

Through Ivory Keys

The hammer, strings, the pulsing of my heart
It cries aloud through ivory keys:
A melody to soothe and please—
But weak. I must perfect and hone my art.

No-one to join, duet, the second part,
No master and no prodigies
The hammer, strings, the pulsing of my heart
It cries aloud through ivory keys.

No-one to hear every false start
No audience around to please
No one to pledge his guarantees
If he were here—I would not fall apart
The hammer, strings, the pulsing of my heart.

Photo by Ebuen Clemente Jr on Unsplash

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