POEM: Sestina on Truth and Beauty

BY ROGER PAO

That is not all we need to know.Before our ashes are interred in the deeptombs of the forgotten, our flawed musicdeserves a chance to shine, a hopeto be remembered. Our voicesare neither truth nor beauty, but they are here

for now, the time being on Earth, herein all their ill-pitched glory. To know such laughter is a wonderful gift, to possess voicesunlike one another’s. Their songs rest deepin my heart. They are the tiniest genres of hope, they are the simple music

that keeps us alive. Do not warn us our musicwill die. Those lessons are not for us to hear. What we fiercely crave is hopefor the living, to knowthe wellspring begins not at death, not after the deepsorrow of the grave has drowned our voices,

their human melody. Though our voicesbear no inscription of permanence, though their musicmay fail to reach the deepfirmament of the immortals, believe that to hearthem is more fulfilling than anyone could ever know, believe that there is more hope

in the untrue and the unbeautiful than any hopewe could have imagined possible. To hear the voicesof friends is to knowenough grandeur, enough musicto light our plain campus, turning herein our arms, for the lifespan of a remembrance. Deep

is the Grecian urn, as deepas an unfinished prayer, an undying hopethat remains in its watercolor pastoral, hereto endure. Beauty and truth will outlast our voices,surpass our scarred, temporal music,but that must not be all we need to know.

From afar, we hear the deep voicesof truth and beauty, but the music brings not much hopeto us. Their perfection is not ours to conquer and know.

by roger pao

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