On Listening to Bach on a Sunday Afternoon
by R. Dean Ludden
Wednesday, May 14, 2003
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No mere concert, this:
Rather, veneration of that paradigm
by which one measures awe.
Four o'clock: before the Lenten purple
there arises, burgeoning, such cloud of praise
that art, unworthy, never could embrace in brotherhood.
For how does one compress into that arching space
such bold, presumptuous splendor: Soli Deo Gloria?
If glory shines alone upon the inner court,
could any man intrude?
Instead, why should he not be blessed
with lesser echoes suited for mortality?
No other architect would build his temple crowned in laughter.
No other sigh presumes to resonate within a second breast.
I cannot rise to the ovation,
(would one applaud the Eucharist?);
and were it understood, I would not speak.
Out on the steps another little Easter ends in shadow,
as through the branches, lesser light pretends.