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.
Santa Barbara Poet Laureate
(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.)