108 total words    

<1 minutes of reading

We silence silence with unmuffled noise,

cacophonous voices empty of thought,

discordant music flailing all our senses.

If silence were perfect, we would know

the Earth’s hum, the OM of the universe.

In silence we would hear ourselves thinking.

Absent silence, nature’s voice is diminished,

pines stilled, bird song lost.

In silence, Beethoven heard a C sharp Minor chord

and gave us his near perfect Fourteenth String Quartet.

Silence is the final note of Picasso’s The Old Guitarist.

He contemplates his instrument and hears pure sound,

the peace of a life well lived, one last note plucked

from the now silent strings that have lived as long as he.

  • James Ballowe

    James Ballowe is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at Bradley University. Since retiring from university teaching and administration, Jim has written a biography of Joy Morton and a monograph history of the Morton Arboretum.
Scroll to Top