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A Beethoven Chronology

On a certain day in a certain month of the Enlightenment
clear skies      light winds out of the southwest
high in the low 70s
Beethoven is born in a bed
on a certain day in a certain month of the Enlightenment
a soap dish tumbles to the floor
the other foot steps into a slipper
Mozart says
keep your eye on this Beethoven
he’s going to rock the world
on a certain day in a certain month of the Enlightenment
“Hello! Good evening!”
“Hello yourself! And where might you be off to?”
for the third time Herr Beethoven is disillusioned in love
on a certain day in a certain month of the Enlightenment
Napoleon returns to France
is crowned by the Pope
the composer catches cold
spikes a temperature of a hundred and two
on a certain day in a certain month of the Enlightenment
a city advisory announces
sewer line repair work on Shangyi Road
all lanes closed to traffic
Beethoven composes the ninth of his symphonies
on a certain day in a certain month of the Enlightenment
at a certain place another functionary lies home sick
at a certain place a theater is completely sold out
Beethoven’s deaf as a post
on a certain day in a certain month of the Enlightenment
the weather is gorgeous     oven toasted bread
a man and wife crawl slowly into bed
Ludwig van Beethoven’s dead

“Beiduofen jinian"  © Yu Jian. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2011 by Steve Bradbury. All rights reserved.