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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Poetic Musings

I started writing poetry in high school. I was a quirky sort who always sought to express...
I dunno...something. I sketched, played a variety of musical instruments, painted, sang, danced, photographed and wrote poetry. Bad poetry. Very bad poetry. At that age I was rather enamored with the idea of being “poetic.” It degenerated into a wanton orgy of quantity over quality. I wrote poems by the hundreds. After a few years, I had amassed quite a collection of doggerel. I was rather proud of their sheer bulk. Sadly, the only weight those poems carried was the weight of the paper itself.

All the while I devoured good poetry. The power and beauty of so many poems amazed me. I realized I could never be in that class.
I guess I was in my mid-twenties when I sat down to read everything
I had written. It would be an understatement to say I was appalled. How trite, how maudlin, how juvenile! Worst of all, my words weren’t honest. I was posturing. I was full of adolescent angst and, often, simply stupid. There followed a mighty purge (mercy killings really). I whittled my collection down to a couple of hundred verses.

I continued to write poetry, but only intermittently. I tried to express my genuine emotions at critical junctures in my life (well, the sad times mostly). I wasn’t very good at it, but it no longer mattered. My poems became short notes to myself. Reminders of where I’ve been, what I’ve felt, what I’ve learned. I’d revisit my work every few years, only to cull a few more botched efforts. At this point, I’ve retained fewer than fifty poems. No one other than I has ever read them all. Friends don’t let friends read bad poetry.

Having said all that, I do have a poem I rather enjoy sharing. I am pleased with it. I know it’s the best that I can do. Furthermore, it has an interesting history...and...it is mercifully short.

It started with music. I was listening to a lot of classical music at the time. I think it began with Chopin’s “Etude in E Major” but I’m not sure. I began searching for music that expressed a certain ache I was feeling. I struggled to translate emotions into words, all the while searching for music to inspire my reveries. The poem and its accompanying soundtrack evolved together.

Drowning in Beauty

From the depths of the night she comes
Moving like flowing water she comes
Your arms ache to hold her knowing
That in her warmth, her scent, her grace
You will be redeemed

In the dark of the night you surrender
Lips caressing lips passion rising
Breath entwined with breath soul trembling
Slowly...
slowly...
slowly...
You drown in her beauty

Here is the soundtrack:

Igor Stravinsky “The Firebird-Berceause”
Claude Debussy “Claire de lune”
Georg Philipp Telemann “Viola Concerto in G Major – Andante”
Sergei Rachmaninoff “Vocalise Opus 34, No. 14”
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky “Melodrama” (from the Snow Maiden*)
Giacomo Puccini “Un Bel Di Vedremo” (from M. Butterfly*)
Giacomo Puccini “Che Gelida Manina” (from La Boheme*)
Frederic Chopin “Etude in E Major”
Eric Wolfgang Korngold “Garden Scene” (from Much Ado About Nothing*)
Alexander Borodin “Nocturne” (String Quartet No. 2)
Gabriel Faure “Pavane Opus 50”
Jules Massenet “Dernier Sommeil De La Vierge” (from La Vierge*)
Giacomo Puccini “E Lucevan Le Stelle” (from Tosca*)
Johann Joachim Quantz “Flute Concerto G Major – Arioso Maestoso”
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky “None But The Lonely Heart – Op. 6, No. 6”

(note: * denotes instrumental only)

One is blessed if, even for a fleeting moment, the soul surrenders to another. In the space of a heartbeat, we become divine...taste infinity...experience rapture. One is truly blessed if these moments come again and again. But…even one moment...one thin slice of awe...can make all the difference in the world.

* * *

As a final aside, I imagine a parent cradling a newborn...Life offers many blessings.

2 Comments:

Blogger soul_rebel said...

I am, to say the least, a poor judge of poetry. I enjoy it, but know nothing of good vs bad attempts.

Well, I take that back. I know that any attempt I will never make would be bad.

So I won't tarnish your work with a comment that would surely be laced with dumb.

I do however feel comfortable applauding your chosen soundtrack. Kudos.

Also, Eleanor would, I'm sure, be interested in this link too.

Tue Jul 25, 01:52:00 AM  
Blogger tipota said...

ah, that is genuine and a jewel. the whole story wraps the poem like a silk swathe.

Wed Mar 11, 12:39:00 AM  

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