I've been taught violin by a master
Etrurian, born inside Arezzo's walls
Who had a look of bright Arezzo's sky
He told me: "that's no structure but a smart pretext"
To which I replied Bach's too lawful:
He can hide, but never deny;
Then he lifted his cup for more sips
While shaking his head at my masks.
I began, when then rhythm ran faster:
"For themes and pauses so at my becks and calls
For that, my mentor for that only I'd kill"
(more bitter, later'd have been my envy for my own text)
He shrugged: "It is just notes, a pawful
Its godhead's short: hark" Then a trill,
A witches' night of fingertips,
And demisemiquaver casks.
"The name recalls sun and white plaster
It'd come", I said, "from old Sicilian balls
(There were times, indeed, Sicilians did dance)
"They are all dances", said I, "In a learned context"
He, a dancer, smiled: "Your learning's awful"
And then I smiled and missed my chance
To learn that to a drinker's dry lips
Wine's seldom a matter of flasks.
My violin has never sounded awful
But taught me: "lest you'd take the chance
To hear harsh truths from her wry lips,
Don't touch the whispering djinni's flasks".