THAT music always round me, unceasing, unbeginning—yet long untaught I did not hear;
But now the chorus I hear, and am elated;
A tenor, strong, ascending, with power and health, with glad notes of day-break I hear,
A soprano, at intervals, sailing buoyantly over the tops of immense waves,
A transparent bass, shuddering lusciously under and through the universe,
The triumphant tutti—the funeral wailings, with sweet flutes and violins—all
these I
fill myself with;
I hear not the volumes of sound merely—I am moved by the exquisite meanings,
I listen to the different voices winding in and out, striving, contending with fiery
vehemence
to excel each other in emotion;
I do not think the performers know themselves—but now I think I begin to know them.

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3 Comments

  1. Lauren Healey says:

    This is truly a great work of American literature. Though i am young, (11 years of age), I appreciate poetry and books. I am doing this for a language arts poetry project, and, might i say, I chose well. I am a singer, so that music is always round me, too.

  2. Jerry Marshall says:

    I don’t know if Walt ever heard a jazz concert but if he had heard one the lines I’ve quoted would perfectly describe the music and the musicians he was hearing and knowing them.

    I hear not the volumes of sound merely—I am moved by the exquisite meanings,
    I listen to the different voices winding in and out, striving, contending with fiery
    vehemence
    to excel each other in emotion;
    I do not think the performers know themselves—but now I think I begin to know them.

  3. Michelle \Gonzales says:

    this poem i myself dedicate this poem to Di-Di. Because she wanted to be a singer. but then she developed a sickness that she herself wasn’t to good at the time…..but thy god rest her beautiful soul for her will always be remembered and thy let her wings flap in the air of dusk………….i will always remember her by listening to mariah carey

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