Kishore Karanam literature  

At a Bach Concert

Adrienne Rich · 1951

Sometimes when the artists are of infinite talent, it is very complex to express why we admire their craft. So, when it comes to Bach, I feel the same, but gladly there is Rich, who put the words on him.

Coming by evening through the wintry city
We said that art is out of love with life.
Here we approach a love that is not pity.

This antique discipline, tenderly severe,
Renews belief in love yet masters feeling,
Asking of us a grace in what we bear.

Form is the ultimate gift that love can offer -
The vital union of necessity
With all that we desire, all that we suffer.

A too-compassionate art is half an art.
Only such proud restraining purity
Restores the else-betrayed, too-human heart.