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Posted by: Bighead86 (
Date: May 11, 2004 10:58PM

Hey you guys,
I'm doing a project about a poem. And I find this poem online for my project:

J. S. Bach: F# Minor Toccata
Bill Holm

This music weeps, not for sin
but rather for the black fact
that we must all die, but not one
of us knows what comes after.
This music leaps from key to key
as if it had no clear place to arrive,
making up its life, one bar at a time.
But when you come at last to the real theme,
strict, inexorable, and bleak,
you must play it slow and sad,
with melancholy dignity, or you miss
all its grim wisdom.
In three pages, it says, the universe collapses,
and you--still only halfway home.

I don't understand the first two line when it's say it's not for sin... but rather for a the balck fact... And and the last four lines... when it talks about sad and "grim wisdom... and about the universe collapses but you are only halfway home. Can you help me? thanks

Rose is red. Sky is blue. Ahhh... whatever... the color changes as time goes by...

Re: Toccata
Posted by: lg (
Date: May 11, 2004 11:16PM

I think what Holm is getting at when he says "weeps, not for sin" is that the theme of Bach's Toccata is of EPIC proportions, e.g. the end of the world, not just one man's sin.

The last lines might be compared to finding out on your way home from work that World War 3 had been declared and nuclear warheads were headed for your town.

Holm sees the piece of music as a dirge, a funeral song, a lament for the failures of mankind. A failure of biblical proportions: i.e. the end of the world.


Post Edited (05-11-04 22:18)

Re: Toccata
Posted by: Jimmy (
Date: May 11, 2004 11:52PM

wow... tahnks you!! I never thought of its that way. Thanks alot Les!! =)

Re: Toccata
Posted by: lg (
Date: May 11, 2004 11:52PM



Posted by: Jimmy (
Date: May 12, 2004 03:54AM

hey you guys,
my teacher found alliteration some where in the middle. like start from "This music leaps" to somwhere in the middle". Can you help me find it?? thanks =)

Re: Toccata
Posted by: Marian-NYC (
Date: May 12, 2004 09:55AM

LG wrote "Holm sees the piece of music..."

I love your use here of the word SEE. The whole synesthetic experience of music: heard, felt, SEEN, and then reflected in a poem.

(Now if someone made CURRY in response to it...)

Re: Toccata
Posted by: lg (
Date: May 12, 2004 12:06PM

Jimmy, you can find more examples of "assonance" than alliteration. Go here and see for yourself:

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Re: Toccata
Posted by: Johnny SansCulo (
Date: May 13, 2004 03:00PM

Strict Inexorable and bleak.....more consonance with the "k" sound

Re: Toccata
Posted by: Marian-NYC (
Date: May 13, 2004 06:49PM

There's a bit of harmony in a few other phrases:




These are repeated vowel sounds that you would probably emphasize if you were reading the poem aloud.

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