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Inside what’s inside…

by Kevin T. McEneaney
Tue Nov 28th, 2017

Viola, soul of the string orchestra,

less bright in tone than that star violin

who hogs both spotlight and show-off solos,

yet like the piano, it is useful

for composing: Mozart, Dvořàk, Brahms


played it, wrote down ideas, notations.

More moveable than a grand piano,

lacking range of violin, piano,

its brilliant tone remains as attractive

as a sunny day in spring or autumn.


Viola, the butt of ten thousand jokes,

yet silently admired in Berlioz

when dreaming of Harold in Italy,

or in the hands of Debussy, Schnittke,

Martinu, Wuorinen,  Penderecki.


In piece-work by Kurtag and Ligeti,

one discovers a mysterious world

of sub-atomic particles dancing

to Otherworldly force-fields of pleasure:

oblique pizzicato becomes warp-dream.


Distant planets pulse rivers of methane.

Dust beneath your old bed breathes spindly life.

We begin to understand dark matter

and we begin to understand our brain

will never decipher the viola.