Posted tagged ‘what goes bump in the night poem’

Nocturnal in Be

June 6, 2013

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Nocturnal in Be

Knock-knocked/tick-tocked
self-mocked/self-socked–
Who’s there?

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Here’s a little query in the night for Kerry O’Connor’s prompt for With Real Toads to write a nocturne. I think the prompt was aiming for something more lyrically musical, inspired maybe by Chopin, probably my favorite composer. I could not come up with something more lyrical! But I was reminded by Kerry’s prompt of a story told by Artur Rubinstein, a great Chopin pianist, of how once as a young man, when hounded by creditors and disappointment, he tried to hang himself from a hotel bathroom shower (either rod or shower head) by his bathrobe belt. Even though I suspect that both showers and bathrobes were far more sturdy back then (I believe this was in 1908), the whole apparatus collapsed, leaving Rubinstein (i) alive), (ii) ruefully amused that he was even a failure at suicide; and (iii) with a renewed and seemingly vibrant commitment to life. (This is a memory of the story heard during my childhood when Rubinstein used to actually be on talkshows! I think I have the details right, but I’m sorry if they are a little fuzzy.)

Finally, my story has nothing to do with this story. But I couldn’t help thinking of it because of my attachment to Rubinstein’s performance’s of Chopin’s nocturnes. I urge you to listen to one.