“Music and silence -– how I detest them both!...
[Hell] has been occupied by Noise...”
Screwtape, from C. S. Lewis,
The Screwtape Letters
In Maryland, in Istanbul, they shut
the door against the screams, and crank it up.
So music is corrupted: it is now
the hand clamped on an agonizing mouth,
while silence smells of abject fear, and we
are locked in dungeons of cacophony.
The braying trump has robbed us of our rest:
the silence of the Almighty, the celestial song,
humanity’s communal hum...
lost to the chief demon of pandemonium.
Cheryl Caesar lived in Paris, Tuscany, and Sligo for 25 years; she earned her doctorate in comparative literature at the Sorbonne and taught literature and phonetics. She now teaches writing at Michigan State University. She has published her poetry and translations of Jean Tardieu’s in Blackberry, The Coe Review, Labyris, The Wayside Quarterly, Stand, and The Dialogue of Nations.