PROLOGUE

From within a museum gallery, a view of patrons walking and sitting in a garden outsideThe title, “Table Music,” is borrowed from Telemann. When I read it, I thought how so many things that arise in life recur later in our thoughts. We pick them up and consider them again and again without ever reaching a final conclusion. The people and places that inhabit memory unfold with us, sometimes within life and sometimes purely in mind—as with the dead who are present nonetheless, part of our being. History is a meta-narrative of many strands, Hayden White argued, and each strand puts forward an individual point of view. Think of “Table Music,” then, as a contribution to this genre in poetry and prose.  (2 August 2015, Berkeley)