Listening to Chopin’s Prelude in D-flat Major, Op. 28, No. 15

“What if I find nothing but moonlight?”

“Then you will have found the reflection of a reflection.”

                           ~ attributed to Chopin and Delacroix

Listening to the Raindrop sonata
this afternoon, now that the temperature
has taken a sudden plunge and it feels

truly like fall, I think of how the composer
alternately burned and languished in the last
years of his short life, traveling to or from

Vienna and Paris, then Mallorca and Scotland:
afflicted by nostalgia, weakened by what
burns in genius— flame at both ends

of a wax taper, slim as any of his fingers.
Too spent, in the end, to even go up and
down stairs on his own, did he miss

the view of quiet streets in the morning—
the way light rimmed the limbs of cherry trees
in the garden and cobblestones in the square,

or glinted off Warsaw’s cathedrals at noon;
the prescient gaze of cats whose owners
did not allow them to roam the streets,

washing anyhow over all they regarded from
the sill, behind curtained windows? At the end
of a Japanese role playing game for Xbox and

PlayStation called “Eternal Sonata”, the spirit of
Furederikku Furansowa Shopan rises out
of his body to play the piano one last time.

However his name is said, its syllables
linger a little: sostenuto, the way water-
drops slide down the glass panes, the way

each prismed surface looks sheathed in another
skin; the way each bud in the garden might be
a heart embalmed, floating in a globe of fluid.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.