Cantabile

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Cantabile

He played as if the keys were hair that had been brushed
a hundred times a day many hundreds
of days–this is not to say that the piano sounded like hair but like
much care, silk spun
into flow, flow woven
into bell, as if he rode
a length of knell–one knew he must have learned
to ride it
in the way that a stream might learn to swell
and then subside, as if he’d studied the teachings of glisten
and undertow–

Earlier in the day when I thought of practice, I thought of how you’d hardly had to work
at pretending I didn’t exist,
how quickly you perfected my nought, how
when you seemed to see through me, I even for some while
ceased to be–

And then there are words
like cantabile–
their sound paralleling
their significance–

Time is a word
like that–with both long I and silent
me–

What I mean to say is that there is always beauty
somewhere, working diligently
to come to our attention, as
we in turn strive to pay attention–
or, the opposite–
as we don’t strive
to pay anything,
as we simply listen for the hard-earned that’s learned
to be given,
as we practice listening
with all
our hearts.

*******************************

Yes, it’s weird. But it’s late in the day and late in the April game here!   Draft poem for Real Toads for a super interesting prompt by Rommy about tea ceremony.  Here I am thinking about an aspect mentioned by Rommy about much practice making for the best cuppa (and focusing on the idea of practice rather than tea.)

Cantabile is originally an Italian word, used in musical notation to mean singingly (often as a direction to a pianist to play singingly or sweetly.) Pronounced  (sort of) can-tah-bi-lay.

I will be traveling Thursday but hope to get to reading other poets soon.

 

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12 Comments on “Cantabile”


  1. That’s a beautiful write… how we don’t strive to pay anything sometimes while the beauty in people, in nature, in every word keeps on working diligently to come to our notice.
    I really liked this bit: “how quickly you perfected my nought, how/when you seemed to see through me, I even for some while/ceased to be–”.
    -HA


  2. I just read an article about inspiration coupled to the famed 10 000 hours needed to be good at anything… we do need that practice, but we need divine inspiration just as much.. since I came from the tea prompt I imagined a pianist in a tea-room where we sit and sip at high tea…

  3. Rosemary Nissen-Wade Says:

    I don’t find it weird but entrancing. The internal rhymes, the music, the nuances of meaning….


  4. Love the bells sounds that ring whimsically through the poem. There is something magical in your words which seem to make other worldly sense.

  5. Sanaa Rizvi Says:

    Lovely internal rhyming here K 🙂

  6. Deborah Says:

    I’m sorry if I’m late to the party on this – but do you also do all or most of the artwork that is on the top of every poem?

  7. Rommy Says:

    That last stanza is amazing. I like all of it; the story set up you have in the beginning is terrific. The last stanza wraps it up nicely in a neat bow.

  8. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    What I mean to say is that there is always beauty
    somewhere, working diligently
    to come to our attention

    I love the way you expressed yourself singingly throughout. Such a wistfully beautiful piece of writing.


  9. “What I mean to say is that there is always beauty
    somewhere, working diligently
    to come to our attention, ”

    Love this!

  10. Polly Says:

    An utterly beautiful poem, k. I esp. like ‘there is always beauty / somewhere, working diligently / to come to our attention’ – fab.

    And how extraordinary it is when coincidences occur; in a poem I’m working on, the word ‘canticle’ appears, not a million miles away from ‘cantabile’.

    Hope all is well with you – I am soon to be seeing builders (!)

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Polly– many congrats! You’ve had a long journey and glad it is entering into difficulties of a more pleasant sort. Thanks for kind comment– that one written very late at night when supposed to be packing so think that It needs more work but glad something came through. K.


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