The following poem was inspired by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra performances I have had the privilege to see, thanks to Geneva Concerts' Sponsor-A-Student ticket program.
Rachel LiuA bow stroke, a clear sound The lights dim and the crowd is silent. A note rings out again and they come alive. He arrives and raises his arms. It begins. The instruments play, a voice with no words. Joyful, fast and sweet: sound of peace. A solo, life alone. Together in harmony, united. A pause, an applause. Short silence, anticipation. Another comes, in front of the rest. Dramatic flourish and it starts. Discordant, quick-the sound of fear. The heart races, pounding. Unsafe, dangerous, death. Is this what it is to die? A wave of arms, wave of emotions. The solo plays, intense, quick over the keys. Scales and chords that heal the soul. Is this beauty? Anew, a voice rings out, high and clear. Is this hope? They join together and the music chimes. A tear down the cheek, for all is well. It ends and people applaud. The one leaves, and it what it once was. They start again, his arms raised. The first note rings out. The song is clear and beautiful, exciting and bright. But fear resides within: It will soon end. A cue—it is over. Up they all go, with applause for the end. Love, loss, pain, suffering, death: Just a single night. Is this life in one moment?
Rachel Liu's poem first appeared in the Key of Geneva zine produced by the Geneva Historical Society. The poem is reprinted with both Rachel Liu's and their permission.