Just one reverberation

J. S. Bach, Variazioni Goldberg, BWV 988, Aria, suonata da Glenn Gould, 1981


Just one reverberation1

Will to stay,
To evade the world,
And always to return.
Two words, two verses
In inconclusive undertows,
And one inside the other,
Intertwine in the deep
And bring up frivolous memories.
While speaking, they never are aware 
Of this incessant coming back, this linear story
Of two wills that slowly,
In the silence, diligently
Allow themselves to drift away.
And dissolved in this sea,
As one reverberation,
As one “again”
And one “everywhere”,
They continue to come back.

The justification of art is the internal combustion it ignites in the hearts of men and not its shallow, externalized, public manifestations. The purpose of art is not the release of a momentary ejection of adrenaline but is, rather, the gradual, lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity2
(Glenn Gould)


I have a feeling I have not written this poem alone. It was already written, before I picked it up, but in another idiom. By Gould and Bach. It’s the Aria of the Goldberg Variations (BWV 988), as played by Gould in 1981. I have listened to it tens of time before the day I sat down to write this poem, for years, and then again tens of times while I was writing it. I really don’t believe I can declare sole authorship on this work. Call me a dreamer, but this poem has been written six-handed. By Bach, Gould and me.

Giovanni Dominoni, Riga, 2017



  1. 1 – Poem translated by me. Original version in italian:

    Un solo risuonare
    Volontà di rimanere,
    evadere dal mondo
    e sempre ritornare.
    Due parole, due versi
    Tra risacche inconcludenti
    L’una dentro l’altra
    S’intrecciano nel fondo
    Si rinfacciano ricordi vanitosi
    E mai sanno, nel parlare,
    Del continuo ritornare, dell’intreccio lineare
    D’una doppia volontà che lenta,
    Nel silenzio, alacremente
    Si lascia abbandonare.
    E dissolto in questo mare
    Un solo risuonare,
    Un solo ancora
    E un solo ovunque,
    Continuando a ritornare.

  2. 2 – Kingwell (2009, p. 194)