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His Last Concert

Robert Ludden Avatar  Send Soup Mail  Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled His Last Concert which was written by poet Robert Ludden. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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His Last Concert

I wasn't there to hear the choir
though once I sang with them,
but I still think of Holliday
at closing--cadence coming up
and his conducting stern, impassive
just as always
with the same authority,
demanding and receiving 
absolute attention,
pulling them along .

What were his thoughts, I wonder,
amid those final glorious moments
of polyphony?

And then again the homophonic chords 
resolving with "amen,"
his gaze still far away,  aside,
when just before the cutoff
he would turn, perhaps,
to look directly at the singers
--that faintest hint of smile appearing,

wrists in last release,
the frame of stillness introduced...
hands in the air...
four seconds of suspended time
and he stepped down
to face the last applause,
what then?

Without success, I understand,
they asked him back as guest
in those successive years
but knew as well as he,
in cadence there is no reprise.

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  1. Date: 8/21/2012 9:00:00 AM
    What was his first name, Dean? I was doing a web crawl, but came up with many unlikely Halliday candidates.:( Wonderful that he has this acclaimed respect and admiration! Wishing you the best!! Love, Mikki

    Ludden Avatar Robert Ludden
    Date: 8/21/2012 9:09:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Robert Holliday. He was a college choir director. St. Paul, Minn. Don't know how much is there. He's been dead for nearly 20 years.
  1. Date: 8/20/2012 12:48:00 PM
    Sounds like Robert Shaw, except, with Shaw, there would be no smile. Good stuff. Love, daver

    Ludden Avatar Robert Ludden
    Date: 8/20/2012 12:56:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Indeed, I found out later that Shaw was an admirer of Mr. Holliday, and certainly Holliday's smiles were very rare, and faint when we got one.