“Nocturne in a Whirling Fan” — a poem by Joel Glickman

September 15th, 2020

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Frits De Jong / CC0

Windmills (28494239)

 

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Nocturne in a Whirling Fan 

The herd, now scattered, tired, and thinned
lies down in the electric wind
which cools the summer air and ground
so sleep may come, however sound

or troubled or beset by dreams
we’d rather were not there. It seems
the only music I could stand
to hear this night would be Chopin,

a Nocturne, played by Rubenstein.
Any of those would do just fine.
That set is in a box nearby,
encased in dust. The green years fly.

The time was when the record player
served as my Book of Common Prayer.
A disc spins now inside my head,
not loud— the lambs have gone to bed.

Our innocence has long since fled.
Some sleep a bit, some, like the dead.
The herd, now spread and tired and thinned
lies down in the electric wind.
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Joel Glickman taught music including jazz history and the jazz band at Northland College, Ashland Wisconsin, from 1974 until retirement in 2017, where he has resumed teaching about jazz again, part time. He has written and published poetry over a wide range of subjects. Primarily a classical clarinetist and folk singer-song writer and banjo player, his jazz and saxophone skills lag behind these. He resides in Ashland with wife Susan and their Bichon, Madeline.

He can be reached via email at [email protected]

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Listen to Arthur Rubinstein play Chopin’s “Nocturne Op. 9, No. 2 in E flat”

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