Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Tuesday Poetry Stretch - Musically Inclined

I've spent the last two weeks reviewing scholarship applicants to the university. These folks are the best of the best, already admitted and standing on mountains of accomplishments. Interestingly enough, the one thread that seems to tie the all together is music.

Music has always been a huge part of my life, whether listening or performing. I still prefer music over television, and am almost never without it. So, let's write about music. Leave me a note about your poem and I'll post the results here later this week.


  1. Fur Elise

    Who was this Elise
    That the composer could write
    Such a hard piece for her?
    Didn't he like her enough
    to make the song easier?
    My fingers stretch and stretch
    and still do not always reach
    the arpeggios without a hop
    like the eensy weensy spider
    making its way up that spout.
    If anyone ever wants to write
    a song for me, I'll say:
    "Keep it simple. Keep it sweet.
    Plenty of rests." That way
    piano students will like me.
    As fur Elise, I could care less.

    ©2011 by Jane Yolen, all rights reserved

    --Jane Yolen

  2. Last week I was experimenting with double dactyls for the first time and wrote one about Beethoven:

    Higgledy Piggledy
    Ludwig van Beethoven
    Wrote the Eroica,
    Sadly went deaf.

    Gifted and masterful.
    Some say he’s better than
    Brahms. Need a ref.

    Beethoven Double Dactyl

  3. Love that, Mad. In fact am a great fan of dd's.

    it needs a title, something like: " Notes for a Student Paper"


  4. Tricia,

    Here's an animal mask poem:


    We’re silver-scaled.
    We’re slippery, sleek.
    We’re musical
    And when we speak
    Tiny shiny silver spheres
    Of notes that only fish can hear
    Bubble from our mouths and rise
    Through the ocean’s liquid skies,
    Reach the surface of the sea,
    And burst into a melody.
    We minnows sing in unison.
    We’re one for all and all for one.
    We harmonize all day in school.
    We rock. We roll. We’re really cool!


    I love double dactyls too!

  5. Such terrific stuff today! Here's my homage to that great unsung--no, that great sung pastime:

    Singing in the Shower

    I am crowing,
    I am glowing,
    as I scrub my arms and hair.

    I am singing,
    bubble flinging,
    splashing water everywhere.

    Oh, my song
    sung in the shower,
    how it echoes,
    how it soars!

    And the water sings
    along with me—
    it hisses and it roars.

    Why is Ellie
    out there knocking?
    Why has Dad
    begun to shout?

    Just as soon
    as I'm done singing,
    I'll dry off
    and sashay out!

    --Kate Coombs, 2011, all rights reserved

  6. I started writing a poem about music, and this emerged instead. I suppose it has a music to it.

    The Mad Monologue of Doctor Chronology
    (A Supervillain’s Lament)
    By Steven Withrow

    Any heart this world possesses must be dead.
    And no, no other worlds exist. You’re free
    To scoff, but I insist—Infinity
    Hangs bleak and wholly heartless. I have said
    As much to colleagues who would comprehend
    The horrifying costs of cheating Time,
    That knowing every outcome, every end
    Before its cause, is tantamount to…I’m
    Afraid you’ll have to nurse the glass I poured…
    Is tantamount to rigging every game
    Of take-your-chance and reaping no reward.
    Yes, yes—I could reveal to you his name
    Or home address. However, you should think—
    And here I’ll buy us both another drink—
    No matter what the bastard’s done to you,
    What good would any retribution do?
    Let’s say, by day, he teaches seventh grade,
    A family man who, nightly, masquerades
    As Fights-for-Truth-and-Justice Man, for fun.
    You storm into his classroom with a gun,
    Rejoicing in each bloody trigger-pull.
    (I see your eyes; you’d down a barrelful.)
    Then let’s suppose he’s quick enough to palm
    Or misdirect your bullets. Do you bomb
    A bus—no muss, no fuss—on second try,
    While hiding in some rat-infested lair,
    And feel him fall, a comet from the sky,
    To cage you with his subatomic stare?
    My boy, I have stood by and watched you fail,
    Your machinations come to no avail,
    For it’s the nature of my power to cast
    My aura to the future or the past.
    Go home—don’t be like me—I’ve lost the art.
    Tomorrow, find yourself a steady job—
    I hear they’re hiring muscle for The Mob—
    Or disbelieve, and dog your own dead heart.

    Copyright 2011 by Steven Withrow. All rights reserved.

  7. Fur Elise ~ Jane you crack me up! I'm posting an old one I wrote for my mom a few years back, when she was still alive. It was her birthday last week and this posting's in honor of that.


    Hanging up the phone   after
    chatting with my mom   I want
    to seize our conversation   and
    place it in a jar   one of those
    twelve-sided All Fruit beauties
    I save   and I’ll set it on the
    top shelf of my refrigerator
    knowing   I will take it out
    later in the day.   Opening the
    lid   I’ll nestle the rim to my ear
    the sweetness of my mother’s
    voice   swirling inside   her
    lilting words   a cherished
    lullaby   and I will carry it
    to my room   where the
    music of her love   like
    postcards sent   to tuck
    me in   on this cold   drab
    January night   will softly
    sing me to sleep.

    © Carol Weis, all rights reserved

  8. shelter of my single bed

    was I mellow?

    and what did tenth-graders know from mellow anyway?
    but I did my best on the bus with Bob
    and the boys to be mellow
    about the kaya they would smoked
    about being the one to decide
    how far to go

    was this love?

    never love, never mellow
    no woman no cry
    but a little darling
    stirring it up

    Heidi Mordhorst 2011
    all rights reserved