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(25 July 1956)

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Nasty

The house is empty.
The windows are shut.
The practice pedal on the upright piano is depressed.
It takes twenty minutes to massacre
Haydn’s Capriccio in G.
Afterwards, I wash my hands
and imagine a salon in Imperial Vienna.
The theme is hiding in a harpsichord.

Joseph extricates it.
He releases it, chases it and recaptures it thirteen
times in seven minutes; mostly in a cheerful mood.
One hand marches and the other plays triplets.
How is this done without severing the hemispheres?
He juggles with it; multiple plectrums pluck the strings.
He steadies it with the left hand, tidies with the right
and staples it shut with three identical chords.

I examine the history and discover that Haydn
took his theme from an old Austrian folk song
called ‘It takes eight people to castrate a boar’.
I don’t like it anymore.

Submitted: Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, October 09, 2013


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Comments about this poem ('A Villanelle' by Thaumoctopus Mimicus by Diane Hine )

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  • David Wood (10/12/2013 4:50:00 AM)

    I know the feeling, I have a violin that when I play my wife used to say it sounded like a cat with its tail stuck in a mangle! Lovely poem Diane.

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  • Lyn Paul (10/10/2013 7:24:00 AM)

    A woman you are with so many talents. Pianist as well? So curious to know what you thought of the music before you learnt of the Poor Boar.

  • Thomas A Robinson (10/9/2013 8:52:00 AM)

    I know of some bores that need castrating with mitigating circumstances.

  • Danny Draper (10/9/2013 7:19:00 AM)

    It seems that so much of European culture is wrapped up in gruesome practices from antiquity which were normal once but now seem cringingly passé. Great write especially the keyboard and hand movements.

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