John Updike

1932-2009 / Pennsylvania

Evening Concert, Sainte-Chapelle

The celebrated windows flamed
with light directly pouring north
across the Seine; we rustled into place.
Then violins vaunting Vivaldi's strident strength,
then Brahms, seemed to suck
with their passionate sweetness,
bit by bit, the vigor from the red,
the blazing blue, so that the listening eye
saw suddenly the thick black lines,
in shapes of shield and cross and strut and brace,
that held the holy glowing fantasy together.
The music surged; the glow became a milk,
a whisper to the eye, a glimmer ebbed
until our beating hearts,
our violins were cased in thin but solid sheets of lead.
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