Academic journal article Antipodes

Bach Blind

Academic journal article Antipodes

Bach Blind

Article excerpt

Short-sighted since childhood

over zealous self-taught

dusk to dawn copying scores

by lamplight by poor light

hand cramped tireless and prolific

grown old his vision worsening

in pain and nowhere else to turn

and he wanted to go on serving God

peripatetic English doctor Chevalier Taylor

specialist and oculist renown ophthalmiater

notorious for innovative cataract needles

the operation called couching

not complicated nor expensive no guarantee

lie on your back

strapped to leather bench head in restraint

two assistants held shoulders knees

a third insured eyelids remained open

quickly deftly thick sharply pointed needle

jabbed into eye probing slightly

reaching lens pushing downward quickly

into vitreous jelly

with only whisky to numb pain

a scream of utter agony every bit of strength

of three men required to restrain thrashing

afterwards wound bathed

in Peruvian balsam warm water

cataplasm of cassia pulp

eye fomented with spirituous camphire

bandage replaced by patch

eat lightly with gentle evacuations

Bach recovered his eyesight fully

a few days later a second operation

the horror of the procedure repeated this time with

no good result attributed to advanced condition

bottom was found to be defective

a paralytic disorder-had he come earlier and so forth

the eyesight deteriorated quickly after that

he woke up one morning in darkness

after that spent hours days

just sitting in a darkened room

composing in his head

remembering light

[Author Affiliation]

Joe Dolce is a singer-songwriter, poet, essayist and photographer. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.