Saturday, August 13, 2016

Zion Park and the Celestial City

One thing I like about Messiaen's Quartet
For the End of Time is that it was composed
In a World War II prisoner-of-war camp

And first performed there, too, outside, in the rain.
I can hardly conceive a better excuse
Or setting to imagine the end of time.

Another reason it's fun to contemplate
Is because, of course, time did not end, not then
And there, not ever. Time never even paused,

Although before, after, and now all alike
Vaporized for millions of that war's victims
Whose worlds never were, not to themselves, never.

But the best part is that Messiaen survived
His end of time by decades, without yielding
His faith in it. The end of time never ends,

Not in the music, not in the rainy camp,
Not in the Utah desert he visited,
Enraptured, thirty years later. More music!

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