Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Poem: Symphony in D Minor

Every month or so, my friend Nancy and I attend a symphony concert. We have season tickets and make it a true girls-day out with lunch and shopping. Last Sunday, the "Ooh La La..." French tribute featured Mathieu and Franck, with a breathtaking encore by pianist Alain Lefevre that he composed to honor his wife, saying it was because of her he is the pianist he is. Sigh.

And Santa Barbara's poet laureate came on stage to read his lovely poem. It was a glorious day of perfect winter weather, California-style, with blue sky and crisp air and snowy mountains ringing the coastal plain...our favorite eggplant quesadillas, and fabulous finds at our favorite boutique.

All in all, a day to remember. I don't think Mr. Starkey would mind a bit, my sharing his poem with you.

Symphony in D Minor

There is no sadness that cannot be softened by music.
At night, alone before the fireplace, shadows flickering

their insistent Nothing will save you, the pizzicato
strings suggest otherwise. Though the whole

complex apparatus of living tip over in a tangle
of gears and wire, the bass clarinet's regal

molto crescendo recommends an alternative
to silent brooding and a tumbler of single malt

Scotch. Even the English horn, that doleful
instrument, reminds us that the dutiful

sun will eventually pierce the fog-laden morning.
Happiness nearly always comes without warning:

we suddenly recall the bucket of dahlias
somewhere in the house-vermillion and fuchsia

and shocking pink-the dog wags her tail.
Success is mere abstraction, and failure

needn't harm us. What we seek is what will last,
as long as we heed the tempo: fast, but not too fast.

~David Starkey
Santa Barbara Poet Laureate
January 2010

(Mr. Starkey has published several books of poetry and more than 400 poems in
literary journals around the world. He directs the Creative Writing Program at Santa
Barbara City College and currently serves as Santa Barbara's third Poet Laureate, with a term running from 2009-2011


Helen Hardt said...

Beautiful poem, and a beautiful photo!

Tanya Hanson said...

Thanks, Helen. It was a wonderful day full of terrific sounds and sights. I'm actually finding myself writing a little poetry again LOL.