Monday, June 21, 2004

Pavarotti in China, 1987

Chinese children study excellence
And often the violin
Rather than disrespect.

The people's communities
Seem ones of constant and smiling endeavor,
As young and old swing by on bicycles
There is no Ford, Chevvy or Buick, and never a limousine.
We see the people flock, so many, to the Great Hall of the People
To hear Pavarotti
Bring his great love to China.

Rodolpho sings love and dolor to Mimi,
And Pagliacci weeps his rage,
The sound a great groundswell of power, of profundity and truth
That engulfs us and the place we are in,
Here where all things end, and then again begin,
So that we hope to find places large enough within ourselves
To store it, to keep so much beauty and joy alive
      For our own hard times later on, when we may need such love.

But for now, ten thousand Chinese faces rise
And break into joyful, reverberating grins,
         And as one they
Communicate their deafening love of beauty.

The fountains of Bernini
      Gush pure and robust and honest
         Today in the broad and busy streets of Beijing.
         Luciano Pavarotti sang here today.
         The people have heard him sing.

Copyright 2004 by Diana Strelow.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry 360 with permission of the author.

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