Friday, February 6, 2009

Poetry Friday - Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979)

I Am in Need of Music
Elizabeth Bishop

I am in need of music that would flow
Over my fretful, feeling fingertips,
Over my bitter-tainted, trembling lips,
With melody, deep, clear, and liquid-slow.
Oh, for the healing swaying, old and low,
Of some song sung to rest the tired dead,
A song to fall like water on my head,
And over quivering limbs, dream flushed to glow!

There is a magic made by melody:
A spell of rest, and quiet breath, and cool
Heart, that sinks through fading colors deep
To the subaqueous stillness of the sea,
And floats forever in a moon-green pool,
Held in the arms of rhythm and of sleep.

I'm continuing in my quest to find poetry about music. Elizabeth Bishop was born not too far from here, in Worcester, MA, though throughout her life she traveled far and wide, and her poems often reflect this fact.

Poetry Friday is being hosted today at Wild Rose Reader.


Yat-Yee said...

Thanks so much for this poem. I am in need of music right this moment too.

Anonymous said...

I feel almost just like this some times. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Love this poem! There *is* a magic made by melody. Music is what's on my mind today, too. Thanks for sharing this!

Fiddler said...

Yat-Yee, Barbara, and Martha, thanks for stopping by. I, too, am feeling in need of that "spell of rest, and quiet breath, and cool Heart," which is probably why this poem spoke to me so. Take care.

YeattsLonske said...

I like your site(s)! Have you seen the Music Lover's Poetry Anthology? I saw it for sale on but haven't gotten it yet. Another music/poetry resource (that I mentioned on my site once) is the Smithsonian's music & poetry lessons. You might already know about this, but if not, here's the link:

Fiddler said...

Oooh, Tabatha, thanks for the book title--I'll check it out! I'd downloaded the pdf of what's available from the Smithsonian site last fall when my son's poetry club was meeting regularly and another mom and I were taking turns introducing poetry forms or terms each time.

Thanks for stopping by!

Grant said...

Wow! How come I never read this before? One good reading and I will long remember some of these lines.