Friday, April 27, 2012

Poetry Friday: A Love Song

This has been a week of singing.  My fledgling efforts to learn a single song have been alternately giddy and frustrating.  For one thing, I've discovered that I'm completely unused to singing to music.

Ha!  That's not really a joke.  To Mike's horror, I told him the accompanying chords he was so lovingly playing for me were a distraction.  I know. Awful.  But I've always sung with a crowd, and for me, what I listened to was them, their voices, so I wouldn't screech off-course.  I had no idea what to do when the only thing I could hear was a steady beat of chords.  What I really needed was to SEE how my voice was supposed to compete with lovingly entwine with that.

To help, my husband laid down a guitar track in Garage Band.  Now the measures click by and the sound waves pulse in and out. I can see it.  It's helping.

But it's also incorruptible. Tying to sing with music is thrilling in a way that trying to jump on a spinning carousel is fun.  I keep mis-timing my leaps and winding up in the dirt. But the lights! Those prancing steeds!  The hypnotizing spell of the notes pouring out and up and down and around and around...

Which brings me to the poem for today.  It's one that's I've shared on Poetry Friday before, back in 2009. But I love it for how it can gush without being mush. How everything spins and stays hyper-still at the same time. And it's so much about timing.  Love often is.

A Love Song
by William Carlos Williams

What have I to say to you
When we shall meet?
I lie here thinking of you.

The stain of love
Is upon the world.
Yellow, yellow, yellow,
It eats into the leaves,
Smears with saffron
The horned branches that lean
Against a smooth purple sky.

There is no light—
Only a honey-thick stain
That drips from leaf to leaf
And limb to limb
Spoiling the colours
Of the whole world.

I am alone.
The weight of love
Has buoyed me up
Till my head
Knocks against the sky.

See me!
My hair is dripping with nectar—
Starlings carry it
On their black wings.
See, at last
My arms and my hands
Are lying idle.

How can I tell
If I shall ever love you again
As I do now?

Listen to this poem read aloud.

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Tabitha Yeatts.

P. S. The poetry haiku daisy-chaining project I alluded to yesterday? Stay tuned for it next week!


  1. It's like jumping Double Dutch - two ropes spinning, people chanting, urging you to leap in -- and you think, "there's no way this isn't going to end in tears."

    ...but, every once in awhile, there's magic.

    I love the idea of love as something like pollen, yellow and smeared and hinting at new life.

  2. Yeah, that love is yellow thing slays me every time. It's so original and messy and lovely all at once.

  3. oh yeah, this is one I could and do read over and over again. Thanks for this reminder.

  4. I've been thinking about these posts you did about learning to sing ever since you posted them, Sara. I have the same difficulty singing with an instrument. I should put in some effort to learn how to do it. With storytimes, I sing in front of people all the time. Kids are so forgiving, though, and happy to join in. Still, it's a thing I'd like to learn, too.


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