If you want to understand Beethoven, listen to his piano sonatas

Beethoven: Sonata No.16 in G Major, Op.31 No.1 (Kovacevich, Goode) https://youtu.be/q7LXQVxd6xA via @YouTube

The first Op.31 sonata is by far and away the funniest of all Beethoven’s 32 sonatas, and it’s kind of hard to explain why it isn’t one of the most famous of them all: all the movements feature attractive melodies, and it brims with good humour from the subtle to the ironically crass. You’ve got the first movement, where the hands can’t play together and the development is built almost entirely around an apparently inconsequential motif, the second, which is a joyfully overlong and increasingly absurd parody of (bad) Italian opera, and the third, full of wily chromatic movement and wry counterpoint.

Ludwig van Beethoven 1770 – 1827


“Balm for ills unnamed”

REVOLT – Against the Crepuscular Spirit in Modern Poetry

I would shake off the lethargy of this our time,
and give
For shadows—shapes of power
For dreams—men.

“It is better to dream than do”?
Aye! and, No!

Aye! if we dream great deeds, strong men,
Hearts hot, thoughts mighty.

No! if we dream pale flowers,
Slow-moving pageantry of hours that languidly
Drop as o’er-ripened fruit from sallow trees.
If so we live and die not life but dreams,
Great God, grant life in dreams,
Not dalliance, but life!

Let us be men that dream,
Not cowards, dabblers, waiters
For dead Time to reawaken and grant balm
For ills unnamed.

Great God, if we be damn’d to be not men but only dreams,
Then let us be such dreams the world shall tremble at
And know we be its rulers though but dreams!
Then let us be such shadows as the world shall tremble at
And know we be its masters though but shadow!

Great God, if men are grown but pale sick phantoms
That must live only in these mists and tempered lights
And tremble for dim hours that knock o’er loud
Or tread too violent in passing them;

Great God, if these thy sons are grown such thin ephemera,
I bid thee grapple chaos and beget
Some new titanic spawn to pile the hills and stir
This earth again.

EZRA POUND (from Poems and Translations