Poem Hunter
Becoming The Music
(15/07/56 / Curragh Camp, Co. Kildare, Eire.)

Becoming The Music

Poem By Dónall Dempsey

An Orpheus I
take to the Underground

to search for you
on the brown line of the Bakerloo

descending & ascending

as if I
ascended into Heaven
or descended into Hell.

I walk through echoing

the echoes of echoes
my footsteps

the classical music

they pipe to commuters
soundtracking our life.

Bowed & beaten
I instantly change my step

& walk
in a Ride Of The Valkerye way

change as I
change trains

becoming The Tale
of The Kalandar Prince

Rimsky Korsakov
each footstep

& see
approaching me

(Oh Gluck!)

a drunk beggar
walking with the gait
of a Carmina Burana

I act at once
and Tchaikovsky
out of his way

& enter sunlight
to the strains of Beethoven

once again
in this goodly air

where birds
are the only singers.


I love music but like to choose when I can hear it and what I want to hear at that moment...I hate the choice being taken away from me. My daily journey begins and ends at Kilburn Park Station and one enters and exits to the strains of classical music that only leaves one as one goes down or comes up to one’s train. It is a pain but what can’t be changed must be endured. If I wanted music I would have
I-Pod’d myself. It also devalues the music by turning it into mere boring wallpaper. One day I tried to keep it at bay with this poem.

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Comments (2)

Try Gluck. This is a great use of the Orpheus myth but I got that awful song ('You're Beautiful' I think it's called) in my head when I saw the second stanza. If I may be bold, but in the fourth stanza I think you should use ‘descended’, before ‘Heaven or harrowed Hell’ and I’m not too sure about the ‘harrowed’. But the overall execution of this works really well.
it's a wonderful piece of writing...and the way you have 'become' music is amazing...cheers