Featured Work: Virtuoso

Virtuoso_Chantwood_Poems

I play the violin with style and wit—
which is a silly thing for me to claim,
as I have just begun to study it.

How long I’ll play before I up and quit;
I’ll only have my precious self to blame.
I play the violin with style and wit.

I bow the E string, watch my city bit
by bit go up in orgiastic flame.
O, I have just begun to study it.

Scant joy to hear my fiddle hiss and spit,
disgorging tunes for which I find no name—
I play the violin with style and wit.

O Joshua! O Jascha! If you see fit,
I bid you lead me to a fiddle fame,
as I have just begun to study it.

Now scratches turn to scales, and grace notes flit
with graceful haste, a Lincoln Center dream:
I play my violin with style and wit—
O, I’ve just now begun to study it.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Victor Altshul’s second and third books of poems, Singing with Starlings (2015)
and Ode to My Autumn (2017), were published by Antrim House, and two of
his poems have appeared in the Hartford Courant. His work has recently been
published in Alabama Literary Review, Burningword Literary Journal, Cape
Rock
, Caveat Lector, Coachella Review, Existere, The Perch, and Studio One. He
is active on the board of the Connecticut Poetry Society and has given several
readings throughout the state. A graduate of Harvard College and Yale Medical
School, Altshul is on the faculty of the latter. He has been in continuous private
practice of psychiatry since 1967.