Louis Simpson: The Silent Piano
We have lived like civilized people.
O ruins, traditions!
And we have seen the barbarians,
breakers of sculpture and glass.
And now we talk of 'the inner life',
and I ask myself, where is it?
Not here, in these streets and houses,
so I think it must be found
in indolence, pure indolence,
an ocean of darkness,
in silence, an arm of the moon,
a hand that enters slowly.
* * *
I am reminded of a story
Camus tells, of a man in prison camp.
He had carved a piano keyboard
with a nail on a piece of wood.
And sat there playing the piano.
This music was made entirely of silence.