J. S. Bach Addresses the Fugue

Doddering fugue in a gray key,
I have finally come for you.
Born in the time of the frowning masters,
Your clothes stretched too tight
Over your ponderous frame –
It was a time of death and shadows.
It still is.
They shackled us with rules, Fugue,
These men for whom laws and limits
Are outward and visible signs of God’s love.
But I know God can dance.
And I will strip you naked, Fugue,
And I will twist and clothe you
In jocular fashion, in wild fashion,
In stately proud fashion,
In a thousand strange fashions
And a thousand new ensembles.
You will show God how to whirl,
How to prance, how to laugh,
How to float through an endless open field.
Yes, we will start with their rules, Fugue,
But when our blasphemies are done
Their rules will be our rules,
Our heresies their hymnal,
Our God, theirs.

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