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Unread 05-19-2021, 01:37 PM
F.F. Teague F.F. Teague is offline
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Default Poemusical prompt

Please post poems inspired by music. (This could be providing lyrics to melodies, writing about a particular theme, or anything else.)

I'll start small-ish. This one's inspired by Mussorgsky's 'Gnomus' from Pictures at an Exhibition:


Gnomus

Tree axed to earth may gain rebirth in many carven shapes,
and from this holm jumps out a gnome intent on certain japes:
not planting blooms nor collecting 'shrooms nor casting rods for fish,
but cracking nuts to fill his guts is this one's fondest wish.

Come supper times, high up he climbs, and searches for his fare;
as dishes fly, shocked diners cry, 'Do mind my silverware!'
His eyes alight with pure delight upon the helpless snack;
he leaps, he gnaws, he clamps his jaws, the nut.. goes.. CRACK!
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Unread 05-20-2021, 02:37 AM
Brian Allgar Brian Allgar is offline
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Here are a couple of pieces that appeared on Metrical a few years ago. This seems a good spot to give them another airing, although I should warn you that, most uncharacteristically, neither is at all humorous.


The Prince of Venosa

My thoughts on love? Good Sir, my wife betrayed me -
Yes, me, Gesualdo da Venosa, Prince,
And Count of Conza. She most foully played me,
So love’s a topic that revolts me since.

Her lover I dispatched by sword and gun;
On her, I used a well-honed hunting‑knife,
And when I saw that she was not quite done,
I slit the throat of my adulterous wife.

The only solace was my composition,
My madrigals, my sacred Tenebrae,
For music mitigates the soul’s attrition,
And, through the darkness, brings a glimpse of day.

My life has been both anguished and dramatic;
Perhaps that’s why my music’s so chromatic.

Requiem

Mozart was dying - not, as he thought, poisoned;
Perhaps rheumatic fever? No one’s sure.
The Requiem that sounded in his head
Was still unfinished, fragments of a score
His swollen hands could not complete; instead,
He hummed to others all those themes that foisoned
Within his mind. The day before he died,
He sang the work with family and friends,
And wept in desperation when they came
To “Lacrimosa”. Who knows how it ends?
He left it incomplete, but all the same,
What music-lover can remain dry-eyed?

People have been too ready to condemn
His wife, Constanze, for the common grave
Outside Vienna where his corpse was flung.
But, sadly, Mozart never learnt to save,
And died in debt. His death was mourned unsung -
She had no money for a Requiem.

Last edited by Brian Allgar; 05-20-2021 at 02:40 AM.
  #3  
Unread 05-20-2021, 03:19 AM
Ann Drysdale's Avatar
Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is offline
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Background Music

Ella sings “Is you is or is you ain’t”
But now I know and need no longer guess.
You ain’t. And now the soup is flavourless.

I talk too loudly. Ella sings again:
“you can’t be mine and someone else’s too”
Can’t fault you, Miss Fitzgerald; this is true.

Ella is in her element. She sings
“Miss Otis regrets”. Oh, Ella, so do I;
I’d give a lot not to have lunched today.

The fish is foul and the wine tastes of tar.
Ella is singing “all the things you are”;
I cannot think of anything to say.

Ella sings “every time we say goodbye”.
The sweetness leaches from the crème brulée.
I concentrate on trying not to die
A little.
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Unread 05-20-2021, 01:05 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
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Upheaval

Buried in the Haiti earthquake of 2010, musician Romel Joseph recalled concertos to keep his sanity. —Miami Herald

Sibelius and Brahms will pull me through
the dark, the dust (though everywhere all strings
have snapped, gone mute) — and Beethoven — my true
companions. Once per hour my wristwatch rings

as if school were still in session. I remain
immobile, yet they’re bound to pull me through,
release me from the deafening shrieks of pain.
Are you not coming, friends? You’re overdue.

The walls, the beams, the nails cannot subdue
more than my flesh. In chambers of my mind
the old composers sing — they’ll pull me through.
They always have. Will someone go and find

the broken fiddle bows? I want to know:
where are the children hiding? All I view
are streams of tones before blind eyes. Their flow,
I’m confident, can pull — will pull me through.

(Appeared in Better Than Starbucks.)

Last edited by Martin Elster; 05-20-2021 at 01:09 PM.
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Unread 05-20-2021, 01:06 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
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One Summer Day

An allusion to Beethoven

While walking through the woods one summer day,
he glanced along a river, clear and bright,
saw bubbling notes like dappled fish at play,
and dashed them off that night by candlelight.
Meandering down coniferous-scented trails
where chickadees and tree frogs made such noise,
he didn’t hear a thing except the scales
and chords and cadences that were his toys.
He couldn’t hear the leaves in the aspen thickets,
the deer flies buzzing round his graying hair,
the sound of countless madly rasping crickets,
nor the peals of far-off thunder in the air.
Yet who can miss those leaves, that summer breeze,
that river rushing through his symphonies?

(Appeared in The Society of Classical Poets.)

Last edited by Martin Elster; 05-20-2021 at 01:08 PM.
  #6  
Unread 05-20-2021, 01:22 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
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String Theory

Since everything’s made of curved space,
the universe came into being
from nothing, for everything’s nothing.
So while spending some time at my place,
since all that we are is vibration,
if we chance to be face to face,
perhaps about to embrace,
remember we’re nothing but string-loops.
When by accident fingers enlace
and our bodies get closer, imagine,
as we vibrate in other dimensions,
you’re my cello and I am your bass.
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