Nessun’ Dorma, 1924
Giacomo Puccini’s final aria
The solitary citadels of stars
Keep watch. Maestro, nessuno dorma.
Without composers, living’s burdensome.
Existence lurks there: big and dangerous.
You, Giacomo, are one who ordered it,
Melodically, while tapping swirling thoughts
On Luccan ground and looking for lost keys,
Or “little girls” like childish Turandot,
Notes held in escrow, unfinished princess—
Alfano’s trimmed attempt aside. Your fans,
Like Toscanini, rested their batons
Where you did, changing us with knowing strokes,
Truths caught by penetrating eyes, complaints
By Butterfly, Rodolfo, and Manon
Made classic, your skilled fingers knocking stars
Out of Italian cities, tapping keys
So reputations could persuade on stage.
Puccini, state zit’. Nessun’ dorma.
Stars spill your spirit from unseen music
That still contains it. Under trees, your themes
Play out through leaves, repeating sounds in woods,
In wind. For you, fans bow their heads in time.
Nessun’ dorma. Vincero, vincero!