Winter 1980 • Vol. II No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 1980 |

Piano Practice

for Mark Strand   April, in another fortnight, metropolitan April. Light rain-gauze across the museum's entrance, like their eyes when they leave you, equivocating Spring! The sun dries the avenue's pumice façade delicately as a girl tamps tissues on her cheek; this is my spring piece, can you hear me, Laforgue? The asphalt shines like sealskin, like the drizzle trying to bring sadness in, as furrows part their lips to the spring rain. But here, in mock Belle Epoque Manhattan, its avenues hazy as Impressionist clichés, its gargoyle cornices, its concrete flowers on chipped pediments, its subway stops in Byzantine mosaic—the soul sneezes and one tries to compile the collage of a lost vocabulary, the epistolary pathos, the old Laforguian ache. Deserted piazzas swept by gusts of remorse, rain-polished cobbles where a curtained carriage trotted around a corner of Europe for the last time, the ending that began with Saravejo, when the canals were folded like accordions. Now

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Derek Walcott published numerous collections of poetry, as well as plays and essays. He received the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature, and was a MacArthur Foundation Genius Award winner.

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for Mark Strand   April, in another fortnight, metropolitan April. Light rain-gauze across the museum's entrance, like their eyes when they leave you, equivocating Spring! The sun dries the avenue's […]

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