Saturday Poem

This is a Political Poem

Three people stand in a shop in Paris looking
at an old piano.  It might have been played by
Beethoven.  The veneer is sumptuous, though
blistered where separated from the shaping
pieces.  Inside, no cast-iron frame, but thick,
wooden struts.  The woman attempts a scale, but
many of the notes are missing.  “It’s like trying
to capture moonlight in a net.”  The man marvels
at the piano’s age and that it had been made
entirely by hand.  The shop owner tells them,
“The trees for the wood were most likely planted
in the late sixteenth century.  The woodworking
guilds of Germany planted trees so their children’s
children’s children would have the right kind of wood
harvested, sometimes, 250 years later.  Then it was
cured from 10 to 40 years.  Even in the nineteenth century,
such wood was rare, but now it is a substance
that has gone out of the world we live in.”

by Nils Peterson

Author’s note: This poem is gathered from a few pages of Thad Carhart’s
fine book “Piano Shop on the Left Bank”.