Published on Academy of American Poets (


Can you imagine
what is true, that 
smack in the middle
of making The Magic
Flute he interrupted
himself to make
“Ave Verum Corpus,”
world’s most truth-telling
motet (Who made its
text?  Maybe a pope),
then got himself on
track, back to TMF
(all the while dealing
with money worry and
sickness of wife).  When 
you get to the esto nobis
cadence in “AVC,”  you
scale the spine of the
European Enlightenment;
when you get to the
idiotic “Three Faithful 
Youths” chorus in TMF:

	“Three faithful youths we now will lend you
	Upon your journey they’ll attend you;
	Though young in years, these youths so fair
	Heed the words of wisdom rare!”

you’re dealing with 
Bertie Wooster’s
three best friends.
Because he was Mozart,
not a problem.


Copyright © 2014 by Caroline Knox. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on February 18, 2014. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

About this Poem

"Where I grew up, we did a lot of choral singing in school and church, lots of Mozart, so I got to know some. The only way to make a poem about his genius seemed to be to record a group of stunning and paradoxical facts that spoke for themselves and demonstrated Mozart's range."
—Caroline Knox


Caroline Knox

Caroline Knox is the author of several books of poetry, most recently To Drink Boiled Snow (Wave Books, 2015), Flemish (Wave Books, 2013), and Nine Worthies (Wave Books, 2010).

Date Published: 2014-04-07

Source URL: