This Poem was Submitted By: Mell W. Morris On Date: 2004-06-13 16:42:09 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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One As Beautiful As You

It is time to have my piano tuned, To confront the keyboard once more, To corral chords of sunshine, ever Looking around for something to do. I've enjoyed the sound of colors through Sleeping stained-glass portals, angles Of light dispersing from the reliquary Where forms contrive. But of late, I Find no fortissimo, no fermata. I place A flower behind my ear to hear its scent But uncover no musical conflation which Feels like an arid field awaiting rain. Once, Vincent wrote his brother that at Times he didn't know what to do with his Misery so he went outside at night And painted the stars. I lack his brush but realize that's where My music lies: in flaming flowers that Brightly blaze, swirling clouds in violet Haze, in the strokes of light in Vincent's Starry, starry nights.

Copyright © June 2004 Mell W. Morris

Additional Notes:
Inspired by the song "Vincent" composed by Don Mclean.

This Poem was Critiqued By: Gerard A Geiger On Date: 2004-07-07 12:20:07
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.30769
Dear Mel; Always a pleasure to read your grand work. I feel your artistic angst in not being able to transfer the power and beauty of the colors and light that surround you into your chosen form of expression in music through the piano. I feel that you somehow are searching for a nexus to fuse two art forms...colorful blossoming spring /summer and music...Your dilemma is that you intuitively see all things and interpret them are limited in your expression by the limitations of the form of art in which you choose to express yourself....Even as a trumpet cannot hit a higher note than those that are physically possible by limitations of physics, you intuitively "KNOW" there are higher notes out there, and the artist in you nevertheless strains to reach them. You do this by mentally trying to compose colors and light into music through your piano. I may be way off base here,but I think your frustration is that you feel you should be able to interpret all beauty in every artistic field you engage in. You are searching to create a common form of poetics art and music to satisfy your varied levels of artistic abilities and natural sensibilities. I think the wonderful answer here is that you are melding your talents always in all of your creations...just sometimes more subtle than you would like them to be... Oh, I loved the poem. If I am completely wrong in my interpretation, remember.. I'm always your friend, Gerard

This Poem was Critiqued By: marilyn terwilleger On Date: 2004-06-29 17:21:31
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.76190
Hi Mell, After I received your e-mail I searched my list and of course you were at the bottom! I really wish Chris would find another way to list poets because critiquing from the top just makes us lose so many poems we want to read and comment on. Anyhooo....I love this poem...I have a CD of Josh Grogan who sings this song so beautifully and you have written a poem in the same way with beauty of words and grace in content. I have read it several times and each time I like it more. Your word choices are amazing and ever so poetic...I believe you must be a master at free verse....'corral chords of sunshine' what could be more lovely than that?...'sound of colors through sleeping stained glass portals'.... oh how I do love that phrase. The use of musical terminology is very effective as it lilts across the words and gives them life. 'a flower behind my ear'...reference of Van Gogh?...wonderful. I am sure he must have lived somewhat of a tortured life but his paintings are equisit....'to hear its scent'...'sound of colors and hearing a scent are both very inspired thoughts. I love stanza 4...and it may very well be my favorite... ...'at times he didm't kmow what to do with his misery so he went outside and painted the stars' son paints and raising him I realized there is something unique about an artist they just see and hear things differently than most people. He has a job and a family now so he hasn't painted in a long time..which saddens me..but hopefully he will pick it up again when he slings and arrows of everyday life slow down. The last stanza is as wonderful as those before and ending with 'starry, starry nights' is a perfect way to end this poem/song. If you can write like this when you are in pain and feeling lousy I wonder what you can do when you are not??? Loved it well, my friend as I worry about you...and I am still praying as I promised I would. Love and blessings....Marilyn
This Poem was Critiqued By: Turner Lee Williams On Date: 2004-06-15 14:46:50
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.12500
Mell– IMO, this piece can easily be taken literally or metaphorically: Stanza #1 makes a good argument for a real piano or an allegory about getting one’s life in order/back on track/moving forward/and or start doing things that have been put off for so long for whatever reason(s). Stanza #2 further adds to this latter tone by seeming to recall past accomplishments/ deeds/prowess. Stanza #3 through enjambment of last line from Stanza #2 lament how difficult the situation is or is perceived to be: my favorite line(s) or the one that spoke to me; “I place a flower behind my ear to hear its scent (dischantment at not being able to but uncover no musical conflation which find a way to create joy of past; feels like an arid field awaiting rain.” this is as tough as it gets; great simile; I live in the desert-smile) Stanza #4 shows a willingness to try almost anything in hopes of respite from this “fix/funk”: contrast/comparison caused twist/turn which made way for... Stanza #5 epiphany; “...My music lies: in flaming flowers that brightly blaze, swirling clouds in violet haze (;) in the strokes of light in Vincent’s Starry, starry nights.” (I find the entirety of these lines quite poetic and extremely beautiful) I also enjoyed other poetics: allits (it is; time to; corral chords; sleeping stained; an arid field awaiting; my music; flaming flowers; brightly blaze; starry starry) and internal rimes (to/do; looking/something; sleeping/dispersing; find /behind; ear/hear; blaze/haze; light/nights) creates vivid imagery and produce dramatic tone. I only hope I did not smudge your “Autograph.” TLW
This Poem was Critiqued By: Rick Barnes On Date: 2004-06-14 12:42:39
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 1.00000
Mell-O-Mell, The poetics...beyond describe. What craft. Now on to the fun stuff. Having just read an article about writer's block in the New Yorker that Rachel posted, the dust of which settled over this wonderful work, I couldn't help but approach an interpretation from that slant. Now I realize that this opus is not overly concerned with writer's block, (whatever the hell that is), but I am having such fun dancing a little out of time that my over-indulgent nature bids me to continue. I'm sure you can understand how the line, "It is time to have my piano tuned", fits right into the scheme of things. And following it with, "To confront the keyboard once more, To corral chords of sunshine, ever Looking around for something to do." just adds to the shine. "I've enjoyed the sound of colors through Sleeping stained-glass portals, angles Of light dispersing from the reliquary Where forms contrive." What a superlative description of the creative process. Add to that that it is written in the past tense, as if a writer is refecting upon past glories, and this analysis begins to acquire mass. "But of late, I Find no fortissimo, no fermata. I place A flower behind my ear to hear its scent But uncover no musical conflation which Feels like an arid field awaiting rain. Again...what a fluid and exacting song of what it is to w-a-i-t for the form to reveal itself, nay, just to feel inspired to find the form within this "arid field awaiting rain". GREAT LINE!!!! From here my little dance begins to disintegrate but in it's place a marvelous homage not only Vincent, but to any writer that doesn't know at times what to do with his/her misery,discontent, lonliness or just everyday state of existence. As Oscar Wilde continues to say, "We are all in gutter, but some of us are staring at the stars." Thanks Mell for always keeping my head slightly tilted in that direction. Rick
This Poem was Critiqued By: Joanne M Uppendahl On Date: 2004-06-13 23:04:00
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Mell: Your title reflects the sentiments expressed in this lovely, melancholy song, one which has always had very special meaning for me. The words, "This word was never meant for one as beautiful as you" seem to express all of the longing and despair of recognition that those of a certain spiritual disposition and perception will find the world 'as it is' far too harsh. The speaker begins in a somber, reflective tone to muse that "it is time to have my piano tuned" in an almost desultory way, as if pursuing this task is a more monumental undertaking than she truly wishes to complete. For though she has "enjoyed the sound of colors" (which reveals her amazing gift for synesthesia, or multiple sensory perceptions) "but of late" it is more of an exercise in memory, because she finds "no fortissimo,no fermata" --the loudness and the prolonged 'rest' which makes the perfection of music, of art, of emotion. Without the chiaroscuro, or contrast, intensity is lacking and things are one- or two-dimensional. All along, as I am appreciating the artistry of this poem, my heart is breaking. The one who speaks knows of the suffering of the artist who no longer finds joy in her piano, who speaks of enjoying "the sound of colors" in the past tense. The connection with the song's dedication to Vincent Van Gogh is made in the title, and continued with a reference to the ear: "...I place/ A flower behind my ear to hear its scent" but feels no joyous response forthcoming, but rather "an arid field awaiting rain." Once, Vincent wrote his brother that at Times he didn't know what to do with his Misery so he went outside at night And painted the stars. The strophe above hits home for me, for though I know it refers to the speaker and the brilliant artist, Van Gogh, I find my son in it, too. He went outside at night, to look at the stars, too, but could not paint them. I know now that it was one of the ways that he confronted his misery. In time, even these beloved lights lost their luster, ending in both their early, tragic deaths. This is the mark of great art, I believe, that it move the reader, the viewer, the listener. But unlike the artist Van Gogh, and others who've ended their lives in despair, the speaker re embraces the beauty of music, as she rediscovers the source of her "music" (her soul's very being and purpose) within. Here this poem lifts off the page, off the earth and sails beyond the stratosphere, "in flaming flowers that/Brightly blaze, swirling clouds in violet/Haze" I hear your music once again. The poem began in somber tone, but blossomed for this reader into all that can be desired from both music and observing or painting the luminous, celestial lights -- "in the strokes of light" -- you combine, very synesthetically, the elements of art and spiritual fire. The imagery for me is ecstatic with galactic nurseries,with star-forming clusters, and so much more. I sense that my friend and fellow poet has not lost her music, nor her vision. I am especially moved by these words of the song from which your title comes: Now I understand What you tried to say to me How you suffered for your sanity How you tried to set them free They would not listen they did not know Perhaps they'll listen now I think what will follow will have to be said in an email, for it is far too personal to share online. Just know that you have touched me to the depths of my soul. Very softly (pianissimo) Joanne
This Poem was Critiqued By: Thomas Edward Wright On Date: 2004-06-13 20:37:52
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.66667
HI- This is so elegant. You held off on the blazing guns, allowing the sparklers to do their thing. The rhythm and pace are perfection's reflection. You've outdone yerself here, girl. Vincent, and Don, would approve. tom
This Poem was Critiqued By: Wayne R. Leach On Date: 2004-06-13 18:40:45
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.25000
Excellent job, Mell. Your interior rhymes from the enjambment works wonders for this piece, its music. Simply loved this part: "... /I place A flower behind my ear to hear its scent But uncover no musical conflation which Feels like an arid field awaiting rain." I looked up those words that were beyond my minute vocabulary, but found nothing about which to complain. Poor me. ;>) This is one beautiful poem, sir. It will definitely be on my short list. You are a composer of superb melodies.
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