Feedback to the Director

Feedback to the Director

While studying to play Viola in Twelfth Night

William Conelly

Don’t showcase me.
And while you leave
my brother’s corpse
adrift at sea,
don’t twist a knife
in listeners’ hearts
pronouncing on
the drift of life.

If there’s a lock,
that can’t be it.
I can’t walk back
initial shock
ignoring how
a fate that killed
—and may again—
is my fate now.

Likewise the song:
faint instruments,
in minor keys,
are simply wrong.
Engage the lute
in firm accord
with a silver, lightly
mastered flute.

This is the tune
Orsino feels
as nourishment,
not soulful wound,
its phrasing neat,
its charm at once
the fanciful
and clear concrete:
What country, friends,
is this, to rise
from slashing seas,
through failing winds,
and proffer us
renewal—there!—
its shore a fluid
radiance!

William Conelly

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