Playing Bach can be faithful to the note

it can be looser Loussier or variations of the Variations

Early Glenn Gould frantic youthful

later thoughtful measured enriched by humming –

or not – say the purists

Is a poem lost

if you can hear the translator hum

or is the music still the same?

So many airs on a G string none wrong nor right

Miles Davis’ riff on Porgy’s song

another version though, not Willard White’s deep tones

So many poets have sung Achilles’ rage

as implacable ruinous or baneful wrath

transposing Homer through the ages

And Baudelaire whose Spleen results in many forms

Moore’s roi d’un pays pluvieux an ancient king a too-old king

a head of government ruling a rainy hell a flooded empire

Each voice unique springs from the same source

sings the same song in jazz or blues

Mood Indigo has many shades from Ellington to Monk

No mood no blues the same

Whether blue-eyed Frank or Nina Simone

Playing Bach faithful or way off beat

Playful remix of a familiar tune

New harmonies new voices

in a different time

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