Amanuensis | Paul Bluestein

The footprints of crotchets and semiquavers
climb and descend. Quavers and minims
leap up and down the staircase
that is the lines and spaces of the staff.
Accidentals, scattered among Good Boys
who Deserve Fine Awards and
All Cows that Eat Grass,
wait in the expectant silence
before the music begins,
to trip us on the journey from
whole tone to whole tone

I can transcribe precisely the what
and how of the composer,
but cannot translate the who –
the passion and intensity..
With ornamentals and articulations,
I can capture what was in the head,
but not what was in the heart.

Set aside the distracting precision
that notes and rhythm demand.
Look beyond the prison bars of the staves
to find the composer’s true path,
not from brain to paper,
but from soul to fingers
and on into the world.


Paul Bluestein is a physician (done practicing), a blues musician (still practicing) and a dedicated Scrabble player (yes, ZAX is a word). He lives in Connecticut with his wife and the two dogs who rescued him. When the Poetry Muse calls, he answers, even if it’s during dinner.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s