The Shostakovitch 5th: a poem

Leonard Bernstein NYPO 1979

The Shostakovich 5th

by Carolyn Donnell

Long winded


blasts of brass


to a climax

of thundering


continued swells

while frantic strings

scramble to ride

the waves



gathering force

full blown typhoon

a Russian heart

forced to comply

to dictator’s wish

on the surface

but undertow

secret flow

rises to wash

away the pain

telling tales

to the ear

one that knows

how to hear

I rise to cheer

and beg to heal

my broken arm

so I can sit again

and play viola

in the Shostakovich 5th.

Дмитрий Дмитриевич Шостакович