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The World’s Greatest Virtuoso (almost)

For years I played the violin,
gained calluses on fingertips
and carpal tunnel wrists that ached,
because a fiddler bows and grips.

It was my tutor who once said,
Tartini’s Devil’s Trill would seem
to be your endmost talent test.
That night I had the weirdest dream:

The devil’s virtuoso came—
‘Twas Nicolo Paganini—
surrounded by hell’s smoke and flame,
as in life, he still was skinny.

He wore a long, black swallow-tail,
was quite a specter to behold:
still hollow-faced and without teeth,
his witch’s nose was hooked and bold.

He took my violin and bow,
bestowed on me a wicked glance,
then played his haunting strain, "Le Streghe,"
or if you will—the “Witches’ Dance.”

My always awkward bow appeared
to take on life much of its own;
it stabbed the air, and even glowed,
the instrument began to moan

and sing, lament like tortured souls
as ectoplasm commenced to chase
along the fingerboard in streaks—
like eerie ghosts at furies’ pace.

Then, trills began to pierce my brain—
shrill flageolet notes seemed to coax
my mind into the pit of hell.
Amidst the bow’s spiccato strokes,

abruptly, he then ceased and spoke:
“Now listen, friend: let Beelzebub
become your master, and make you
a damned fine fiddler—in his club.

HE came, a contract in his hand:
“Sign here, in rosin liquefied,
and I will make you permanent
“First fiddler” there, and certified—

or—be a dilettante, condemned
to play a second fiddle here
on Earth.” So Satan spoke to me,
while Nicolo assailed my ear

with torturous cadenzas, filled
with shrill glissandos, ghostly drones
on this, my Stradivarius clone;
He coaxed from it most-haunting tones;

all ending in a fierce crescendo
that jarred me out of bed; and when
I reached for my charred violin—
it was too hot to touch again.

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wow what story you have spun. and what price but your soul
really enjoyed reading this

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oh, what's one measly soul to pawn off when you have another to spare. Thank you for reading my story, Madame. Glad it amused you. Jerry

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LoL what dreams, sir your spin on Italian musicians I must say truly wonderful. The ending made me chuckle

You Devil you? Virtual indeed

Thank you...Teddy

well, what can I say? I have always been an Italophile, probably fostered by my love for Italian music, including the opera. Tickled pink that you like my poem, dear Signora. And, I have three violins, but only two hands with which to play them at one time--damn! Take care, my dear Signora T. Jerry

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by your story and often have wished that I had encountered the Devil to contract me to play the best guitar ever. Alas, my soul has not been so sweet that it was desired. [Must be the left-over taint from my last incarnation as Attila the Hun]. Oh well...
A great tale with lots of rhythm. ~ Geez.

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Satan has been so much maligned, I have begun to suspect he'd been framed by god himself. Yes, he might help you out with your guitar playing, but you need to practice your scales and techniques. That's the only stipulation. (No contract signed in blood required.) Oh, such weird tales humanity has been fed by priesthoods everywhere. Thanks for reading my "enlightened'' poem, sir, Jerry

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