Monday, 24 June 2013

Unfinished Symphony


Strange, isn't it, how one recalls the oddest things about schooldays?  I was listening to a bird singing its heart out on our classroom window sill and missed a question put to me by my English Teacher. Without thinking, I confessed the reason, adding for good measure that it sounded as if it was trying to tell us something. (I was known to be something of a dreamer even in those days and had written poems for the school magazine for which I was often lightly mocked although never nastily). The rest of the class burst out laughing. My ears burned on receipt of some good-natured jeering. Expecting a reprimand, I was surprised (and not a little relieved) when the teacher merely commented, 'Nature is always trying to tell us something, Taber. The trouble is, only the likes of painters and poets can ever be bothered to listen. Now, where was I...?" whereupon he proceeded with the lesson without my ever knowing what his question had been.

This poem is a villanelle.

UNFINISHED SYMPHONY

Music of the earth
invoking its eternity,
in birth and rebirth

All sorrow and mirth,
its womb, our history;
music of the Earth

All its heart's worth
(our bliss, our agony)
in birth and rebirth 

Sounding out a dearth
of Man's true humanity;
music of the Earth

Taking in life-death,
an unfinished symphony;
Music of the Earth

Light and dark, breath
of freedom in captivity;
Music of the Earth
in birth and rebirth

Copyright R N. Taber 2009

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