Tea break Musings
I was reading a book and having a cuppa. Just beforehand, I’d been researching courses/ looking into upcoming local Arts events.
Having mulled over the Arts Events list of dance courses, theatre development, creative writing workshops, music performances etc. etc. I was attracted to one particular course on poetry, but purely from the image used to advertise it.
‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ (according to Fred R. Barnard 1927). How different Fred’s experience of 1920s media would have been compared to today’s. Wise words, Sir. True too about music and sound I think. For example, a sound/chord/trill/crash of cymbals/mobile phone notification ping/* delete as appropriate can also ‘paint a thousand words.’ You know when someone is distracted as soon as their phone ‘ping’ sounds. One sound, a thousand words. Would we be as fast to act when the microwave pings? Apparently not as some neglected re-heated cups’ stories would witness. One sound, again for which a story may be told. But I detour from point at hand, so getting back to it-
I didn’t sign up for the poetry course listed but I did ask myself ‘could I write a poem about something or someone significant to me, today?’ Well, as Barney Stinson from ‘How I Met Your Mother’, would say, “Challenge accepted.”
It was the book I had just been reading, which was to become the poem’s theme. More on that later… I don’t like spoilers. So I began to furiously type, delete, re-type and edit a gratitude poem within about 30mins on my overheated laptop. (It wanted to schedule an update at that precise time, as Murphy’s law would have it).
Now I am no Seamus Heaney. (I guess nobody else could be, besides Mr Heaney himself anyway). Still, please find shared below, my poetic contribution of thanks to a significant influencer in my life.
What I admire most about you is that you are black and white.
There are no grey areas.
You give wholly of yourself to those who take time to get to know you.
You are always listening and ready for the next move.
You have been pushed on more than one occasion.
Your feet have been pressed down on many times.
You have a secret past.
I will never know how many faces have sat looking at you, staring at you,
Willing you into doing something for them.
Hoping you make them look good, sound good.
Although somewhat large in body, you are not imposing.
You are forgiving, despite the things you hear.
You have many voices.
You express yourself uniquely through each person you come in contact with.
Yet you remain constant.
You do not get the fame you bring to others.
Silently observing their glorious applauses.
Accepting being moved again.
They will try and label you as something that can be hash-tagged.
Photograph you. Feature you. Stick you in the corner.
But you were here before all that. Before all this.
Before all these. Sitting. Minding your own business.
You deserve a special place.
You’ve inspired me, more times than I can list.
Thank you for your abiding presence.
By Suzanne Manly © (Poem thanking Pianos)
As you might have guessed before the end, the poem was my thanks to the ever-constant Piano. It was from reading ‘Men, Women & Pianos- a Social History,’ (Arthur Loesser 1954), that I was inspired to write a poem of appreciation to the piano., well, all pianos really. I wonder what it might sound like as a song? Well, that’s for another day!