Peter Weltner’s After, with images by Gerald Coble, is the last of four remarkable books of poetry in the series.

AFTER      Peter Weltner,  poems                Gerald Coble,   images


As you chatted with friends in the Piazza San Marco 

watching tourists while you sipped an espresso,

you heard far off an amateur trio–violin,

clarinet, accordion–performing an Italian serenade

to a small crowd even though, much closer, within

the Basilica, Stravinsky’s Canticum was being played.

Just last month, you wrote to me how you could hear

most clearly in that moment its composer’s mastery, 

his ability to determine from knowing San Marco’s architecture 

how long to make the delay he scored between movements 

last so that the music’s reverberations would be sure 

to sound throughout its vast spaces and off walls exactly

for the required duration, composing the silence, how it augments

what is sounded before and after it, the way a painting, you’d showed

me six decades earlier, was less what one saw and more what it pointed to.

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