April is Poetry Month: Conrad Aiken

Conrad Aiken

Bread and Music

Music I heard with you was more than music,
And bread I broke with you was more than bread.
Now that I am without you, all is desolate;
All that was once so beautiful is dead.

Your hands once touched this table and this silver,
And I have seen your fingers hold this glass.
These things do not remember you, beloved,
And yet your touch upon them will not pass.

For it was in my heart you moved among them,
And blessed them with your hands and with your eyes;
And in my heart they will remember always;
They knew you once, oh beautiful and wise.

==

Mamacita says:  Once again, we have love, and grief, and memories.

Not just the memory of someone we loved, and love still, but the memories of that loved one’s touch on inanimate objects.

Have you ever noticed, and wondered about, the unique and lovely patina on old silverware? It’s not a special silver. That patina is made by being touched by human skin.

Your grandmother’s silverware looks like that because it’s been touched over and over again by the skin of people you loved.

New silver is just shiny. Old silver glows. Silver isn’t really beautiful until a lot of skin rubs up against it.

And even after people who touched and used these things daily are gone, the effects of their touch live on, and we add to it with our own skin.

When someone we love has gone, we look at “things” in new ways. We see, not a dish or spoon, but a dish or spoon being touched and used by the hands of our beloveds. We picture in our minds our loved one holding that book, using that comb, sitting in that chair, and these memories make those mundane things far more beautiful than they ever were when new and untouched.

Perhaps this is the difference between an antique and an old chair.


Comments

April is Poetry Month: Conrad Aiken — 2 Comments

  1. Christina-Taylor chose the silver serving pieces we would use on our Thanksgiving table in November. In January she was dead. Those pieces hold a piece of her soul and will never, ever look the same to me again.
    a/b

  2. Christina-Taylor chose the silver serving pieces we would use on our Thanksgiving table in November. In January she was dead. Those pieces hold a piece of her soul and will never, ever look the same to me again.
    a/b

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