A Poem- In Pursuit of the Nightingale.

I haven’t shared any of my poetry on my blog before, so here goes. Here is a poem about my trials and tribulations with learning the violin. I should confess that after writing this poem, I picked up my new violin and it was quite an improvement on the one I’d bought on eBay. However, I do feel like a bit of a lout writing a love poem about my violin one minute and then upgrading it the next but “such is life!”

 Fly!

Come on fly!

Flap those wings!

You can do it!

I would know such ecstasy,

if only my soul song could

soar into the heavens

on the wings of

the mythical nightingale

and sing all night.

Instead,

it flaps and flaps its downy wings,

struggling to get off the ground.

Still a fledgling,

it hasn’t quite learned how to fly.

My bow is a rogue anarchist,

screeching across two strings

like an angry cockatoo.

I can’t find the nightingale.

I can’t find the nightingale

anywhere at all!

How hard could it be?

How hard could it be

to play just one string,

one perfect note?

Impossible!

Absolutely impossible!

The screeching and squawking
are relentless.

My soul song remains trapped

in its ribbed cage forever,

marked never to be released.

It will never get out!

II

Deep and mysterious,

your heart beats

beneath my palm

like an old, slow river…

serene,

so serene.

I long for that river

to flow through my bow

like a mountain stream,

transporting my soul song

through crystal valleys

and far out to sea,

where the mermaids will move

to its magical beat.

Yet,

you resist:

elusive,

unattainable…

You are perpetually hovering

out of reach,

despite my persistence.

You’re driving me crazy

and I’m caught up

in this frenzied pursuit.

I can’t eat.

I can’t sleep.

I think of you

with every single beat

of my heart.

I’d even walk across

hot coals for you

but you remain aloof.

What is your story?

Why are you hiding

so far away from me?

Why?

I don’t understand.

I just don’t get it.

You know

I’d give you anything…

everything!

All that I am,

all that I have;

just to hear

one perfect note!

I would even rip out my heart.

Serve it up on a silver platter.

Yet,

still you remain silent.

Why?

Why?

Why?

That’s your secret

and you’re not telling!

III

I change my approach.

Tentatively,

gently,

my fingers caress your strings

with a lover’s touch.

Finally,

I can almost sense

the glimmer of a smile.

I practice!

Practice!

Practice!

Then,

much to my amazement,

you finally respond

with one perfect note.

I am quite literally

over the moon!

Little by little,

veil after veil,

slowly slips away,

revealing your precious secrets.

Now,

I can almost see

the intricate,

inner-workings of your heart.

We are merging,

melting together;

two lovers fusing

into one flesh…

a duet.

My bow is transformed.

I have finally found

my nightingale!

Earth and sky have fused

in an ecstatic symphony

and our soul song has soared

straight to heaven,

so far beyond our wildest dreams!

Meanwhile,

the cockatoos are all silent.

Lined up on the fence posts,

they’re all dazzled by

the splendour of our song.

I wonder if

they, too, are starting

to change their tune?

Maybe…

Just maybe…

xx Rowena

9 thoughts on “A Poem- In Pursuit of the Nightingale.

  1. amphomma

    This really does capture the challenges and triumphs of learning something new. It is one thing to picture something or hear something in one’s head, and then to make it happen on paper/on an instrument/in a sport. You should share more poetry!

    A funny sidenote about the violin–my little 3-year old always makes me stop the radio from “scanning” when she hears classical or strongly instrumental music. “What’s that instrument?” she asks. More often than not, her attention has been grabbed by some violins! I’ve shown her pictures; she has seen one in person at her brother’s school–and saw/heard him try it at the music fair, and now she pretends to play one, holding her hands almost right as if she had a violin, except the strings are at her mouth and her “bow”, her hand, goes across her mouth to make a sweet, funny little humming sound. “Mouth violin”, my husband and I call it. Maybe she will play someday…

  2. roweeee Post author

    I don’t know whether you have Suzuki violin in your area but they are really good with little ones and even though your daughter is quite young, I would give her a try..especially after reading about your son being ahead for his age. My grandmother first performed the piano when she was 4 and my mum started piano young too. Suzuki plays by ear so they don’t need to read music…well that was the case when my brother did Suzuki violin many years ago.
    Thanks for your comments re my poetry. I should put some more up.
    Love & best wishes,
    Ro

  3. Pingback: Nightingale Sang in Autumn and Died « Shafiq Haider Virk

  4. caroljforrester

    Beautiful. I love the development of this piece, it works really well in three parts and the imagery that you use is great.
    Best of luck with both your musical and writing endeavours.

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