Our neighbourhood has been quietened by snow and ice in the past twenty-four hours. There’s an especial sort of crisp, clear silence to be found beneath a starry night sky in a snow covered garden and – as ever – I find myself utterly enthralled by the notion that there is no music without the space of silence wherein life’s notes may fly. Which brings me …
‘Space, the bound of a solid’. Silence, then, the
form of a melody
Not, Silence, for thine idleness I raise
My silence-bounded singing in thy praise,
But for thy moulding of my Mozart’s tune,
Thy hold upon the bird that sings the moon,
Thy magisterial ways.
Man’s lovely definite melody-shapes are thine,
Outlined, controlled, compressed, complete, divine.
Also thy fine intrusions do I trace,
Thy afterthoughts, thy wandering, thy grace,
Within the poet’s line.
Thy secret is the song that is to be.
Music had never stature but for thee,
Sculptor! strong as the sculptor Space whose hand
Urged the Discobolus and bade him stand.
Man, on his way to Silence, stops to hear and see.
The Poems of Alice Meynell, 1847-1923
London, Hollis and Carter, 1947