(dedicated to Ludwig van Beethoven, 1770-1827)
The inexpressible expressed
In the indefinable.
A reach undimmed by time, soaring,
Falling, twisting, rolling, tugging.
One moment skimming lightly, poised
In fragile marble, shattered by
Mere observation; then standing
Tall atop the world, imperious
Like the hero who betrayed you -
A monument to yourself.
Giving your life to the very
Joy in which you could not share.
The music that entered your head
In your youth never left it,
Reverberating through silence.
Your legacy is victory,
Only enriched by tragedy.
Your struggle echoes across time,
Connecting you with me, and all
Who seek to know and feel, through the
Universal language of the heart,
What it is to be truly human.
Beethoven was a great admirer of Napoleon Bonaparte, and originally planned to dedicate his Third Symphony to him. Upon hearing that Bonaparte had declared himself emperor in 1804, Beethoven violently scratched out the dedication.