Pyotr Iliych Tchaikovsky - Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35, III
with David Oistrakh
for Kathleen'You never strike a note,
you always take the note.'
Did it take her many
of her eighty quiet passionate years
to earn that knowledge,
or was it given?
Music, the dark tender secret of it,
is locked into the wood of every tree.
Yearly it betrays its presence
in minute fistfuls of uncrumpling green.
No stroke or blade can release the music
which is salve to ease the world's wounds,
which tells and, modulating, retells
the story of our own groping roots,
of the deep sky from which they retreat
and, in retreating, reach -
the tree's great symphony of leaf.
No stroke or blade can bring us that release
but sometimes, where wildness has not been stilled,
hands, informed by years of patient love,
can come to know the hidden rhythms of the wood,
can touch bow to gut
and take the note,
as the heart yields and yields
from Carrying the Songs (Carcanet, 2007)