Oh miserable patrons of the concert hall,
I watch you as you listen to a piano piece
Ostensibly playing it on the arms of your seat
With fingers twisted, aching and arthritic,
Aping, poor wretches, the distinguished soloist
On stage or, further back, the famous composer,
Ostensibly playing the tune, beating the rhythm
Conducting it for all the world with head or foot.

Truth to tell, what frustrated composers or soloists we all are;
And indeed what frustrated lovers
– In spite of all the loves we may have known – ;
Frustrated yes, but not resigned, playing as we do
Into our ripe old age on the arms of our seat
Or even on the wood of our last bed, the same old tune
Like an answer to a dream long unfulfilled
And on matter that fails to respond to our fingers.

- Nikos Fokas

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