Ballade for a Street Musician


majestic music fills the vast arcade


Joshua BellBallade for a Street Musician”

So heavenly, from other worlds, notes stray
in station of the Metro, Washington.
Majestic music fills the vast arcade
as people hurry on hear Mendelssohn
but Bach is hushed as morning rush has won
though Joshua plays with all his heart and soul.
With street musician’s image, he is shun
as someone drops a dollar in his bowl.

An anxious crowd rush by; they cannot stay
to hear this troubadour play on and on.
A fear of being late seems to allay
that man who leans against the wall as one
who listens to the sweet, sustaining run
as Bell now bends his bow to charm; cajole.
Some listen with the morning’s rising sun
as someone drops a dollar in his bowl.

There’s magic to be heard at break of day.
Notes float about cold faces, blank and wan.
How busy are the echoed strings that play.
How fast the zombied now move hither-yon
as Joshua Bell, musician; an icon
with waving bow, his violin extols
and sweeps the air; his music’s lexicon
as someone drops a dollar in his bowl.

Envoi:
His precious Stradivari a beacon
as seven people stop to hear the whole
‘Midsummer Nights’ bright music for a reason
as someone drops a dollar in his bowl.

(A true story: Joshua Bell, violinist, plays to sellout crowds everywhere at $500 per seat decides to play to morning rush of people at Metro station in Washington, D.C. dressed as a simple street musician. How do the people react to his music, not knowing who he is?

The “Ballade” (a French form) is challenge to write in English because there are 14 “B” rhymes! (This form not the same as “Ballad”). Meter: iambic pentameter.
3 stanzas, 8 lines each, same rhyme: abab bcbc. Last line in each stanza is repeated.
Envoi: last 4 lines must rhyme bcbc.)

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