Poetry and Music

Thanks to Anne Elvey and Plumwood Mountain for publishing my review of Martin Langford’s new collection of poetry and prose, Eardrum: poems and prose about music (Puncher and Wattman, 2019). A topic that’s very close to my heart!

Here’s a poem of mine which also works to find the shared language of music and poetry:

Polyphony

This is the nature of things           this dense fabric

           of sound

these threads of what thrums              true

                       in my sternum            call it melody

the simultaneity of harmony           where threads of pitch or

             timbre might            intersect                   surfaces tumbling and

touching each other         notes that lean close       then

          yearn apart        suspended      shimmering      somehow

held together                           here is     

              infinity

marshalled      for a short time      in the generosity

                       of what is beautiful       

cradled              in the phrasing of an idea

           this pattern                 a language that strikes

or glides          or quivers        reverberating

                    through bodies     or wood     or silver       the hollowed bellows

of its making                scribed on air

         this is the way the world turns           the recurring question

of depth     its opaque archaeologies   finding

             the updraft         the prospect of

ocean           unbearability

of the falling away

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