Friday, May 18, 2012

Poetry Friday: The Swing in Everything

I came across this poem I wrote back in January when our whole family was in love with a Duke Ellington recording from the library. It made me smile. And it made me realize anew how important music is in my life.

We dance around
the kitchen
to the Duke’s
jazzy swing.
I love just
how he heard
the swing
in everything.
I love the
way he made
new tunes
but still let
old tunes sing.
I love just
how Duke heard
the swing
in everything.

EMP 1/12

Music is a huge part of my life and my home. I hardly realized how much until the past couple of days when my husband and daughter have been traveling and I’ve been structuring my days completely around my own schedule – an occurrence so rare and bizarre that I almost had forgotten how to do it.

Two days on my own – I’ve been balancing work, play, rest (or trying to) and also balancing sound and silence. I’ve been basking in morning quiet time, just me by the window with my cup of tea and my Bible and prayer book and a couple of other books I’m reading. In the stillness, so rare, I notice all sorts of things speaking to my heart.

In the afternoons I’ve been working – grading, writing, housecleaning – and that’s when I crank the music. It’s mostly been classical and jazz, and oh, how grateful I am for these gems. Benny Goodman playing anything, Yo-Yo Ma playing Vivaldi and Franck and Morricone and Gershwin preludes, Elgar’s Enigma Variations (of course) and Michael Tilson Thomas playing Gershwin’s Second Rhapsody – okay, it’s been a very Gershwin kind of week.

Music tends to chase us all over the house even in our busy, crowded days – I’m forever putting something in the player. And if I don’t, the sweet girl will. And my husband when he’s home, especially when he’s cooking on Saturday mornings. But it’s been listening to it on my own these past couple of days that I realize how much it upholds and encourages me, lends essence and structure and sweetness to my days, helps inspire energy when I’m tired or calming space when I’m wired.

So grateful for music, for the swing in everything. 

The Poetry Friday round-up is at Write.Sketch.Repeat. 


Ruth said...

This is lovely! And I"m with you about music!

Beth said...

Thanks! Music is such a wonderful gift.

violet said...

You've captured the wonderful Duke Ellington swing in your poem!

I too am captivated by music, to the extent that when I'm concentrating, especially on my writing, I can't have music playing or I get distracted. We've taken to playing the baroque music channel on our cable TV. It fills the house with a lovely ambiance.


Mary Lee said...

"So grateful for music, for the swing in everything."

Me, too!

And I LOVE those times when I have the house to myself (rare) and can choose the soundtrack for my day!!

Beth said...

Violet, so glad I captured the swing! That's what I was going for!

I can generally write to instrumental music -- though often I get attached to one composer I associate with a certain writing project (if it's a longer project, that is). I've long ago stopped being able to write to anything with lyrics!


Beth said...

Mary Lee, those rare times are wonderful! Perhaps all the more wonderful for their rarity...